Major Peewee’s go 4-1-1 and make the finals in the London Early Bird AAA
The Lambton Junior Sting Minor
PeeWee AAA participated in the London Knights Early Bird Tournament over the
past weekend. The Sting would put forward an impressive effort in this
tournament playing 6 games over 3 days as they would make it all the way to
the championship final.
In the first game of the
tournament, the Sting would face the North York Rangers and battle to a 0 –
0 draw. The Sting would spend a little too much time killing of penalties
in this game including 2 four minute penalties in the 2nd
period. Josh Bayne would make 14 saves in the 2nd period and was
a force in the net in recording the shutout.
In their 2nd game on
Friday, Lambton would defeat the London Knights Gold AA team by a score of 5
– 3. London would score an early goal to take a 1 – 0 lead before Joey
Ferrera would intercept an errant pass an snap home a shot to tie the game
with a short handed goal. The Knights would move ahead by a 2 – 1 margin in
the 2nd period but the Sting would respond once again with Nic
Direzze snapping in a shot from close range on a nice feed from Josh Vale.
London would once again move ahead with a goal to take a 3 – 2 lead, but
once again the Sting would respond with a power play goal from Joe Correia
as he would snap home a hard shot from the point. The Sting would pick up
the pace in the 3rd period, taking control of the game and Curtis
Marks would notch the game winning goal knocking home a loose puck at the
edge of the London goal. Nic Direzze would score a late goal beating the
Knights goalie with a hard wrist shot as the Sting would finish the first
day of the tournament with a tie and a win.
The third game of the tournament
say the Lambton Jr Sting face “da Raiders” hailing from Ajax-Pickering.
Right from the opening faceoff the Sting would establish control. The
faceoff win lead to a fanned shot on a wide open net – unlucky!! – that
would have been an easy tap in. The Sting were able to kill off an early
penalty which gave the boys an even bigger spark. A good down low cycle
game created the scoring chance that resulted in Curtis Marks scoring with
assists going to Alec Trusler and Lucas Knowles. 1 – 0 Sting. The boys
from Lambton would continue to come in waves with sustained pressure as Nic
Direzze was sprung free on a partial break away only to be denied by the
fanned shot. The Raiders began to claw their way back and built a bit of
momentum with a good fore check. The Sting were able to counter this as the
period drew to a close and even rang the post with authority as time
Building off the late first
period post ringer and overcoming another early period penalty with a
tenacious penalty kill (especially by Dante Fuoco) the boys were able to
take a 2 – 0 lead on a power play of their own with Josh Vale scoring
assisted by Lucas Knowles to silence the Ajax Pickering fans. The Sting
continued to play an impressive team defensive game keeping the Raiders out
of their zone for the majority of the period. The third goal of the game
off the stick of Dante Fuoco from Brett Allardyce and Tristan Haagsma would
chase the starting goaler for Ajax Pickering from the net.
Early in the third period the
Lambton Jr Sting would be forced to kill off a 5 minute major. The call
initially gave the Raiders a spark but the penalty killers and Josh Bayne in
net held strong and kept the attackers at bay. The co-player of the game
went to Josh Bayne and Jordan Hurtubise with honourable mention going to the
Saturday night’s game saw us
taking on the Halton Hurricanes, a team that required a win to have a chance
of moving on while our team needed at least a tie to gain a spot in the
semis. Things did not look good when the boys took the ice as we appeared
to be another player short making it three in total. Thank goodness this
only lasted one period as the equipment difficulties were resolved by the
beginning of the second. Wise crack from the crowd “He plays with a screw
lose anyways. What does one more in his helmet mean?”
The first period had the team
looking a bit unorganized and unable to generate substantial puck movement.
This was likely due to the fact that many of the players were playing in
unfamiliar positions making up for the 3 missing players. Despite this the
boys were able to carry most of the play but were held off the score sheet
as the period ended 0-0.
In the second, the teams play
picked up a bit forcing most of the play in the Hurricanes defensive zone.
The Sting finally got on the board when Alec Trusler chipped the puck off
the boards past the defense. Nic Direzze used a boost of speed to beat the
D-man to the puck and drove the net getting a nice low shot. Josh Vale was
there to put the rebound home. The boys carried a 1-0 lead most of the
period but unfortunately got into some penalty trouble. With the Sting
being shorthanded (4 on 3), the Hurricanes were able to find the twine tying
the game at 1 a piece.
The third period saw more chippy
play from both teams. The Sting however were definitely creating more
scoring chances and it looked to be only a matter of time before they would
score. It took the last minute of play for this to happen. It was Nic
Direzze again with his aggressive style of play walking out from the half
boards, taking a shot and scoring on his own rebound. 2-1 was the final
score and a guaranteed birth to the semis was the reward. Great job boys!
After round robin play and an
overall record of 3-0-1, the Sting found themselves in first place of the
green division and playing in the semi-finals against a familiar foe, the
Kitchener Rangers. Both teams got off to a tentative start feeling each
other out and the changes in personnel both teams had made year over year.
The teams traded power plays that were stymied by the penalty killers and
both goalers. Late in the first saw the first goal get tallied. After a
“dirty dog dangle” (as described by the bench) Alec Trusler was able to put
a move on the oncoming forechecker and slide a pass to Theo Crombeen at the
half boards who then found Nic Direzze in front who fired a rocket home.
The late goal energized the
Sting who came out flying to start the second. All of this pressure was
countered by the Rangers and the score remained 1-0. Both teams were intent
on getting the next goal as they both realized its importance.
The Rangers were able to tie it
up early in the third on a power play. The low down scramble was clearly
covered by Josh Bayne but the whistle only came after the puck had been
poked home. The intensity factor got cranked up in a hurry as the game was
now tied. Josh Bayne’s stellar saves were matched by his counterpart at the
other end for the rest of regulation.
The first 10 minute 4 on 4
sudden victory overtime saw the referees put the whistles away as they were
determined to let the boys settle the score on their own. With 2:35 left in
the second overtime, Joe Correia decided he had had enough. By firing a
good low hard shot just inside the post he won the game for the exhausted
but excited Sting team. Co-player of the game honours were awarded to Joe
Correia and Alec Trusler for their consistently solid all around play.
After playing most of the
tournament down two skaters, a tired but determined Sting team took to the
ice in the finals facing the Toronto Titans. The boys found themselves on
the penalty kill 45 seconds into the game after being assessed a double
minor for head contact. The Titans took a 1-0 lead in the second 2 on a
shot from the point that goaler Jakob Knowles never saw. A minute left in
the period saw the boys on a power play of their own.
After having a goal waived off
with 0.1 seconds left on the clock the Sting started the 2nd with
renewed vigour and Brett Allardyce was able to pop one in tying the game at
1’s with a power play tally. A rare defensive zone lapse and a failed
clearing attempt lead to the Titans scoring on a deflected point shot to
restore the 1 goal lead for Toronto. The Titans soon took a 2 goal lead as
the Sting again got into penalty trouble. A 4 minute power play yielded
many quality opportunities but a combination of quality saves and unlucky
bounces held the Sting scoreless. An empty netter late in the third sealed
the Sting’s fate. The final score was 4 – 1 Titans.
All in all it was a very good
showing for the team. The coaching staff and parents are all proud of the
efforts and determination put forth by the boys!