The Lambton Jr. Sting Minor Atom AAA team participated in the Bauer World Hockey Invite tournament in Chicago, Illinois over the weekend. The team played some of their best hockey of the season, going 2-2 in round robin play and just missing out on moving on to the quarter finals by only one goal.
Game #1 vs the Erie Lions
The Jr. Sting began the tournament on Friday afternoon with a 3-2 win against the Erie Lions from Erie, Pennsylvania. The team came out flat to start the game and found themselves down 2-0 after the first period of play. But the team battled hard and scored two of their own in the second period of play to even up the score at 2 heading in to the third period. Scoring for Lambton in the period were Austin Harper (unassisted) and Derek Esselment on a pass from Owen Peters. Lambton took the lead 6 minutes into the third period on a goal by Jake MacLean. Assists on the goal were given to Andrew Lemieux and Nicholas Medeiros. Goaltender, Kaden Gray, turned aside 31 shots in the game to help preserve the win.
Final Score Erie 2 Lambton 3
Game #2 vs the Orange County Hockey Club
The team's second game of the day saw Lambton facing off versus the Orange County Hockey Club from California. This was a very tight game which saw Orange County score the game winning goal with just 3:28 left in the third period. Ryder Nienhuis scored his fourth of the season when he knocked down a nice setup from Andrew Lemieux and Jake MacLean just 14 seconds into the third period. Goaltender, Blake Foster, turned away 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the loss.
Final Score Lambton 1 Orange County 2
Game #3 vs the Minuteman Flames
Lambton's third game of the tournament saw them taking on the Minuteman Flames from the Boston, Massachusetts area. The Flames took an early 1-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game on the powerplay however, the Jr. Sting battle back once again and scored 3 powerplay goals of their own in the game and won easily 6-2. The line of Austin Harper(2G), Carson Peer (2G, 1A) and Eric McDonald (1A) were absolutely on fire and played their best game of the season. Other point getters in the game included : Andrew Lemieux (1G, 1A), Jake MacLean (1G, 1A), Ryder Nienhuis (1A) and Nicholas Medeiros (1A).
Final Score Lambton 6 Minuteman 2
Game #4 vs the Birmingham Rangers
The Jr. Sting went into Saturday night's contest needing a win or a tie to move on to the quarter finals on Sunday morning. Taking on the Birmingham Rangers from Michigan, Lambton found themselves in a hole very early in the first period of play. Jake MacLean would get Lambton on the board in the second period with his third goal of the tournament on a beautiful setup from defensive duo, Owen Chambers and Nicholas Medeiros. Birmingham would go ahead 5 minutes later and would actually score 3 goals in just 79 seconds to take a commanding 4-1 lead. However, the ever resilient Sting, would cut the Ranger lead in half before the end of the period when Andrew Lemieux scored his second of the tournament on an amazing feed, from behind the net, by Jake MacLean. Lambton continued to pressure the Rangers in their own zone in the third period and were rewarded with a goal when Derek Esselment scored his second of the tournament from Owen Peters. Unfortunately, that was as close as the team would come and lost 4-3.
Final Score Birmingham 4 Lambton 3
The Minor Atoms have a quiet week ahead with just one game this coming weekend, at home, versus the Windsor Jr. Spitfires on Saturday at 12pm.