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Major Atom Jr. Sting have strong showing in London
submitted to sarniasports.com September 26th, 2011


London, ON  The Lambton Sting Major Atom's (AAA) had a solid showing in their first tournament of the year. The Sting had two wins and a tie in 4 games and narrowly missed making the playoffs in the London Early bird Tournament.

The Sting opened the tournament with games against a pair of tough opponents on Friday. First up was the Whitby Wildcats. Trailing 3-2 entering the final period the Sting would rally to tie the game on a goal from Brock Barber and the contest would end in a hard earned 3-3 tie. Spencer Vandenboom and Dylan Riddell would also score for the Sting with Barber, Vandenboom, Ryan Barwitzki, Ryleigh Vanderwal and Kait Isaac earning assists. Luc Thorne-Smith had a strong game in net to preserve the tie.

Next up was another tough opponent in the Halton Hurricanes. Nolan DeGurse would score once in each of the first two periods to give the Sting a 2-1 lead heading into the third. DeGurse's first came after some nifty passing from Carson Perry and Dylan Riddell while Josh McLean set up the second marker. Halton would tie the game up 4 minutes into the third but Dylan Riddell would blast a wrist shot just under the crossbar 30 seconds later to put the Sting back in the lead. Once again Halton would score to tie the game at 3 but with 4 minutes left in the game the Sting would strike on the powerplay as Josh McLean scored to give Lambton a 4-3 lead.

Halton applied all kinds of pressure but the Sting defense of Ryan Barwitzki, Brandon Neelin, Jaycob White, Kait Isaac, Matt McIntyre and Jaxon Shelton along with goaltender Liam McCarthy withstood the barrage. The Sting took a penalty with a minute remaining in the game but with the Halton net empty Jaycob White powered a backhand off the boards and down the ice. His aim was perfect as the puck slid into the vacant Halton cage with 9 seconds remaining to secure a 5-3 victory for Lambton.

With 3 big points on Friday the Sting seemed poised to make a run at one of the 4 playoff berths in the 16 team field. However, the team took their Saturday morning opponent far too lightly and the result was a disappointing 3-2 loss to Elgin-Middlesex. The Sting had hammered the Chiefs twice already this season but learned a valuable lesson in not taking any opponent too lightly. Nolan DeGurse unassisted and Ryleigh Vanderwal with help from Jaxon Shelton and Spencer Vandenboom accounted for the Sting scoring.

The Sting would face the Oshawa Jr Generals in their final game of the tournament. The Generals, with 3 wins already, clinched the division but Lambton needed a strong showing to rebound from the poor effort in the morning game.

After a scoreless first period the emerging Sting powerplay struck early in the second when Dylan Riddell scored off of a pass from Nolan DeGurse. That would be all the offense goaltender Liam McCarthy would require as he had a great game in net turning aside all 18 shots the Generals threw at him. Spencer Vandenboom would display incredible stickhandling prowess as he deked through several Generals players for an unassisted goal to make it 2-0 midway through the third period. Vandenboom would do the same thing 5 minutes later with another picturesque goal to make the final score 3-0 for the Sting. Defenseman Ryan Barwitzki would get the helper on this goal. The Sting were shorthanded in the final 45 seconds of the game and Oshawa had 3 great scoring chances in a bid to spoil the shutout. McCarthy made 2 huge saves and the defenseman Jaxon Shelton got his skate in front of a shot with just seconds remaining to preserve the shutout.

 


 

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