Strong Showing In Chicago for Lambton Minor Bantam AAA
The 99's were in Chicago over the weekend to take part in the Bauer Invitational in a field of 40 teams.
The Minor Bantams opened the tourney with a game vs the Geneva Cyclones and skated away with a 4-1 victory.
Jared Pageau paced the attack with 2 goals and an assist, Nash Nienhuis added a goal and a helper, Eric Cardinal scored the other goal and Max Steeves added an assist.
Ethan Hunt was solid in net as his shutout was spoiled by a flukey goal late in the contest but the team was happy with the victory.
In the second contest of the day Lambton shutout the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4-0. Kyle Brinacombe earned the shutout in net. Scoring were Max Steeves and Jared Pageau with a goal and assist each, Noah Campbell and Eric Cardinal each with goals while Conner Royer, Nash Nienhuis, Matt Hunt, Ben Schoch and Cade Robbins all getting helpers. Lambton scored twice on the PP.
In the third game Lambton faced the Anaheim Wildcats and recorded their 2nd shutout in a row with a 3-0 victory.
Ethan Hunt got the shutout between the pipes. Leading the team were Jack Hackett with 2 assists, Jason Van Bommel, Max Steeves and Jared Pageau with single goals and Nash Nienhuis and Cade Robbins each assisting.
The 4th game was a matchup of unbeaten teams with the winner advancing and the loser going home. The opponent was the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies and turned out to be a very exciting game with the good guys prevailing by a score of 3-1.
Lambton opened the scoring on a nice feed from Josh Barraclough to a streaking Jared Pageau as he beat the goalie stick side. Eric Cardinal extended the Sting lead to 2-0 early in the 2nd again on a Barraclough assist. Oakland cut the lead in half midway thru the third with the play going back and forth. Ben Schoch put the game on ice as he scored into an empty net just as an Oakland PP was set to expire.
Kyle Brinacombe played an excellent game in net.
"This was a very good win for the boys as they played hard to earn their 4th win in a row." said Head Coach Mike Pageau
The quarter finals had the Jr. Sting opposing an excellent Grand Rapids Grffins team. This would be a dog fight to the end. This turned into one of the most exciting games the team has played. The tournament rules got a little strange for the quarters and semi's with teams only playing 2 fifteen minute periods. A change from the 3 fifteen's in round robin play.Noah Campbell opened the scoring at the 9:28 mark of period one with Aquila Kaczanowski and Jared Pageau assisting. Grand Rapids tied it up six minutes later and then took the lead 30 seconds after that.
The Griffins held a 2-1 lead when their best player took a 5 minute major with 5:25 remaining in the contest.
The Sting had chance to at least tie and maybe take a lead on this penalty. Lambton had many quality chances but could not find the net until Noah "Soupy" Campbell scored his 2nd of the contest to square the game at 2's. Eric Cardinal had the assist. The Sting had more chances but could not get the winner so the game went to a 4 on 4 five minute OT period.
The OT went back and forth when with 35 seconds remaining in the 1st OT Lambton was called for a tripping penalty putting Grand Rapids on a 4 on 3 PP for the remainder of the period. Lambton killed off the remainder of the period sending the game into a 2nd OT period this time a 5 minute 3 on 3 period. With Lambton shorthanded for another 1:25 the PP was a 4 on 3 and some great penalty killing helped Lambton stave off elimination and continue the game. Grand Rapids then took an unsportsmanlike penalty with 3:10 remaining sending the Jr. Sting on a 4 on 3 PP. Lambton controlled the puck and had many shots but could not score the winner and the 2nd OT was of no help ending the contest so it went to a 5 man shoot out. Grand Rapids went first and scored. Max Steeves then scored for Lambton, Grand Rapids scored again but Soupy Campbell continued his heroics tying the shoot out a 2. The Griffins would score again and Lambton missed so the good guys were trailing 3-2 with two shooters left. Goaltender Ethan Hunt said no more and stymied the Griffin shooter while Cameron Rannie went down and squared it at 3 with a goal. Hunt then shut the door again leaving it down to a final Sting shooter but it wasn't meant to be as the Sting player put on an excellent move only to see the puck roll off his stick in the heavily snowed crease.
The game went down to a sudden death shootout with the Griffins shooting first. The shooter had no chance as Ethan Hunt again slammed the door leaving it on the line for Ben Schoch to be the "hero". Shocker calmly walked in and fired a low wrist shot to beat the goal tender and send a jubilant Lambton team to the semi finals.
"This was a tremendous game and a great victory for a hard working Lambton squad." said Pageau
The semi finals had Lambton playing the Phoenix Firebirds with barely enough time for the kids to get something to eat as many of the parents had to scramble back to the hotel to checkout.
Lambton was awarded a penalty shot a few minutes into the game but the shooter was thwarted in his attempt and after that it just was not meant to be. Lambton did not have the same jump as the previous five games and fell to a beatable Phoenix squad 4-1. The refereeing was a little one sided to say the least with Phoenix getting nine straight power plays, scoring on three of them. Some of the penalties were deserved but others were make believe. ( a penalty because 2 kids both cleanly hit a kid at the same time and the ref saying two guys cannot hit a player at the same time ?)
Still Lambton did not play as well as previous games and probably did not deserve to win this game. Noah Campbell scored the lone Lambton goal with Eric Cardinal drawing the assist. Both goalies saw action in the game.
"This was a very good weekend and will hopefully boost the team confidence as the team played excellent hockey." said Head Coach Mike Pageau, "Great work guys."