For the Scotiabank Major
Peewee Warriors, no revenge was sweeter than this.
After an early season 6-0 blow-out loss inPeterborough, and a wild 7-5 loss in round-robin play, the Warriors finally gottheir revenge, with a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Orillia Terriers, tocapture the provincial gold medal at the Ontario Hockey Federation Peewee “A”Championships in Clarkson. As theclear underdog against the 82-4-1 Terriers, Stratford played a full forty-five minutesof team hockey to lay claim to the crown for the best in Ontario. The clean, fast-paced game saw noscoring until Orillia went up 1-0 with a power play goal less than threeminutes into the second. But theWarriors replied with their own power play marker when Clayton Lewis buried therebound on a Brody Hunt point shot. Early in the third period, Dalton Smith gathered a loose puck inside theOrillia blue line, dangled two Terrier defenders and went top shelf for the 2-1lead. Lewis drew an assist. The Warriors then played tough, smarthockey with key dump-ins and great back checking. Goaltender Justin Hergott made several amazing glove savesagainst an Orillia team that was held to a goal or less only twice all year. After a late icing call, with theTerriers net empty, the Warriors tied up the face-off circle in their own endfor the final three seconds and then celebrated their much deserved victory byhoisting the OHF Cup in front of the near capacity crowd.
To reach thefinals, the Warriors had to face the Hearst Lumber Kings who were looking for alittle of their own revenge after an earlier 5-3 loss to Stratford. Luckily for the Warriors, one of theonly players who was not showing the effects of the early Sunday morning startwas goaltender Ryan Lay who stood tall between the pipes and helped lead theteam to a 3-2 victory. Stratfordopened the scoring when Smith tallied from Lewis early in the first. From there, Hearst clearly carried theplay and tied the game on the power play mid-way through the second. Minor Peewee call-up Sean Chisholm thenfound the back of the net with only three seconds left in the period, and theWarriors with the man-advantage. Bradley Kraemer drew an assist. Hearst again tied the game on the power play just less than two minutesinto the third. The Lumber Kingsagain pressed for the lead but were denied by Lay on a short-handedbreakaway. Then, with under aminute to play, the Warriors broke up a 3-on-1 Hearst rush and turned back upice where Hunt scored the winner with only thirty seconds left.
Stratfordopened the tournament with a 4-1 victory over the host ClarksonHurricanes. After killing offeight minutes in penalties in the first period, the Warriors just needed astart to get things going. TyreeseHarrison provided just that with a blast from the point three minutes into thesecond period. The Warriors tallied three more times in the next four minutesand cruised to their opening victory. Nathan Hall scored once with Hunt collecting two goals. Assisting were Chisholm and Smith (2each), Michael Cossey, Ewen Flanagan and Hunt.
In game two,after falling behind by one early against the Hearst Lumber Kings, the Warriorsscored three unanswered goals in the second and matched a pair of Hearst goalsin the third for a 5-3 victory. Harrison again started the Warriors off with a blast from thepoint. Also scoring were Lewiswith a pair, Flanagan and Justin Beuermann. Assists went to Smith (3), Beuermann (2), Lewis and Kraemer.
In a wild,poorly officiated game three, the Warriors actually held an early 2-1 lead, butcould not take advantage of their power play opportunities as they fell 7-5 tothe intimidating Orillia Terriers. Scoring for the Warriors were Isaiah Duiker, Jarrett Baker, Hall andBeuermann with two. Drawingassists were Lewis (4), Kraemer, Smith, Beuermann and Minor Peewee call-up EricGibb with two.
Stratford usedfour first period goals, including a penalty shot by Smith, in handing theVaughn Rangers a 5-2 loss. Alsotallying for the Warriors were Smith with his second, Hunt, Chisholm andLewis. Assists went to ScottChisholm, Smith (2), Baker, Duiker and Lewis.
Alsocontributing to the team’s success was defenseman Minkyu Yang who providedgreat puck control and clearing in his own end, and Minor Peewee call-up HaydenShantz who provided key shifts as the tournament wore on over the three dayspan. Besides the goals and saves,every player did all of the little things from breaking-out to dumping in,back-checking, knocking players off of the puck, sticks in passing lanes andblocked shots. Congratulationsalso to Head Coach Mark Hall, Assistant Coach Jon Bailey, Trainer Sean Hall andManager Heidi Lewis on a terrific year of hockey.