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Major Peewee AAA Went to the Finals at London Early Bird Tournament

September 26, 2012

                                                                                                                      submitted photo 
Major Peewee’s go 4-1-1 and make the finals in the London Early Bird AAA Tournament

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 expired.


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 entire defense.


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.  1-0 Sting!!

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! 







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