The Lambton Sting Minor Midgets travelled to Waterloo this past weekend to compete in the Waterloo Gold Puck Tournament. Lambton had a tough group and knew they had to play well in order to advance.
First up for the Sting was the #3 ranked team in Ontario and the only undefeated AAA team in Ontario the Soo Thunder. Both teams came out hard to start the game but it was the Soo who would be first on the board 10 minutes into the game giving them the 1-0 lead. Late in the first Lambton was given a 4 minute head contact penalty. With some excellent penalty killing Lambton was able to score a shorthanded goal to even the game up at 1-1 with Dylan Carroll scoring the goal. Soo would restore their one goal lead just 30 seconds later for a 2-1 lead as this would drop the 4min penalty down to 2 min. Lambton would once again score a second shorthanded goal by Austin Hewton on the same penalty kill tying the game up at 2-2 with Brendan Trottier getting the assist as the first period came to a close. Second period action had both teams having some scoring chances but it wasn’t till around the eleven minute mark where the Soo Thunder would once again restore their 1 goal lead. Once again the Sting would respond as they would tie things up at 3-3 with a power-play goal just a minute later on a beautiful three way passing play by Brendan Trottier to Austin Hewton to Tim Kaldeway who buried it past the keeper sending the teams to the dressing room with just one period to go. Third period action had both teams looking for the winner. Lambton was able to get their first lead of the game as Brett Corrigan would come out of the corner on the cycle and bury the puck past the Soo goaltender giving the Sting a 4-3 lead with under 4minutes remaining. The Soo Thunder pressured in the final minutes along with pulling the goalie and had a great chance at tying the game with just 8 seconds left but the Sting Captain, Brendan Trottier would sacrifice himself as he layed down to block the Soo Thunder Slap shot on a one-timer from just outside the slot as this would seal the deal for the Sting providing Lambton a huge upset in the opening game of the tournament 4-3 handing the Soo Thunder their first loss of the year. Riley Collins played solid in net for the Sting.
Game two in the afternoon the Sting would find themselves playing against the Huron Perth Lakers. Lambton was rushed out onto the ice as the game started much earlier than scheduled. Lambton reverted back to its old ways of too many undisciplined penalties which in the end resulted in a 6-0 loss at the hands of the Lakers. This was a team Lambton has beaten and tied already this season. The Lakers went on to winning the tournament.
Game three the Sting would meet up with the North Central Predators with the winner moving out of the round robin and into the quarter finals. Lambton came out a little slow and thanks to some solid goaltending by Riley Collins the Sting were only down 1-0 by the end of the first period. After a quick tongue lashing at the bench the Sting found themselves back in form as Sean Ginnell would tie the game up mid-way through the second frame. Aiden Chapdelaine put the Sting up 2-1 from Sam McCormack giving the Sting the lead heading into the final period. Lambton continued its control of the game as they out skated and out worked the predators in the third period. Brett Corrigan increased the Sting lead to 3-1 from Zach Smith on the power-play. Lambton was lucky in the remaining minutes of the game as the Sting took another undisciplined penalty and with the Predators goalie on the bench gave them a 6 on 4 opportunity but Tim Kaldeway was able to jump on a loose puck and send it down the length of the ice into the open sealing the deal for the Sting 4-1 sending Lambton to the quarter finals.
Quarter Final action had Lambton up against the Kitchener Rangers who are ranked 8th in the province. This was a fast paced game with big hits and good puck movement as both teams had chances to get an early lead. It wasn’t until a Sting penalty with four minutes left in the first would give the Rangers a power-play opportunity and a team like Kitchener can usually capitalize on and they did as the Rangers went up 1-0. Lambton would get another penalty a minute later and was doing a great job at penalty killing but a point shot from Kitchener would bounce off a Sting players pants and into the net giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead after the first period. With Lambton’s new found attitude in the past week the Sting were able to fight back into this contest. Lambton would go on the power-play in the second and narrow the gap as Sting goaltender Travis Moore would catch the Rangers penalty killers wholesaling with a heads up pass up to the Rangers blueline as Tim Kaldeway would beat the Rangers goalie bringing the Sting within 1 goal 2-1. Shortly after the Sting would go on the penalty kill again and for the third time in the tournament would score another shorthanded goal as Aiden Chapdelaine would intercept a pass and chip the puck up to a streaking Brett Corrigan who beat the Rangers goalie tying the game up at 2-2 as this would be the score at the end of the second period setting the stage for the final period with the winner moving onto the semi-finals. Third period action had both teams having some scoring opportunities as the fans were left on the edge of their seats, unfortunately mid-way through the third period a sting pass up through the neutral zone while regrouping would hit a linesman which caused a Kitchener 3on2 back towards the Sting zone. The Rangers certainly had the hockey gods on their side as the Kitchener player would shoot the puck which would hit one player, ricochet off to the side where it would hit another Sting player in the shin pad and deflect back towards the net into the corner giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead. This would be the winning goal of the game. Lambton had a couple of great scoring opportunities to tie things up as one shot went off the crossbar and another just wide of an open cage as this game would end 3-2 for the Rangers. Travis Moore played solid in net for the Sting. Kitchener went on to the Finals where they met Huron Perth in the championship game where Huron Perth would win 2-0.
Congratulations to the boys on a good showing at the tournament. The team seems to be heading in the right direction playing 4 solid games out of their last 5 games.
Lambton is back in league action this weekend as they head back to Waterloo for a game against the Wolves on Saturday night, Sunday the Sting will host the league’s first place team and only undefeated team in the league, London Knights Gold 4pm @ RBC Arena.