Bantams Win Kitchener Early Bird!, News (Stratford Minor Hockey)

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Bantams Win Kitchener Early Bird!
Submitted By Matthew Smyth on Thursday, September 20, 2018
The Stratford Warriors Canadian Tire Bantam Rep team started out their 2018-19 season by competing in the Kitchener Minor Hockey Early Bird Tournament.

In the tournament opener, the Warriors faced the Brampton 45s. Cole Lewis opened the scoring in the first minute of the game assisted by Jonas Schmidt. Ethan Scrimgeour added a goal from Schmidt and Matthew Barber. The Warriors third goal was scored by Jacob Hall from Nick Houben and Tyler Wagler. Houben  scored off a beauty feed from Wagler with Hall grabbing the second assist. Anthony Guzvinec scored off a sweet pass from Lewis with Hall picking up another assist. Nole Musselman scored after a hard forecheck from Zach McCann who picked up an assist along with Scrimgeour . First year Warrior, Caleb Arent, scored from Lewis and Guzvinec. Wagler rounded out the scoring off a rebound with Hall and Houben grabbing assists making the final score 8-1 in favour of the Warriors. Russel Sebben and newcomer Curtis Ball split duty between the pipes and both were solid when called upon.

In their second game, the Warriors defeated the Ancaster Avalanche 5-1. Tyler Wagler opened the scoring with Hall and Houben picking up assists. Wagler scored his second goal of the game, this time from Lewis. Guzvinec made it 3-1 with an unassisted goal. With the Avalanche goalie out for the extra attacker, Hall netted one into the empty net with an assist credited to Guzvinec . Nole Musselman scored a late goal from Scrimegeour to round out the scoring. It was a strong game played by all the Warriors, keeping the puck on the Ancaster zone for much of the contest.

In the final round robin game, the team had already punched their ticket to Sunday but ended up falling 4-1 to the Hespeler Shamrocks in a very close, tight-checking game. Cole Lewis score the lone goal from Caleb Arent who trailed 2-1 for much of the contest. The Shamrocks sealed the game with a last-minute goal while the Warriors goalie was on the bench in favour of the extra attacker. The Warriors finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 2-1 record, earning a berth into Championship Sunday.

In the semi-final game, the Warriors faced the second seed Barrie Jr Colts who had an undefeated round-robin record of 2-0-1. Caleb Arent opened the scoring with an assist credited to Lewis. With a great pass from Issac Deline, Caleb Arent took the pass and put it in the back of the net for his second of the game and put the Warriors in front for good. Hall, from Houben and Guzvinec followed by Schmidt from Deline and Guzvinec, and Houben from Hall put the Warriors in front 5-0 before the end of the second period. In the third, the Jr Colts answered back with a goal, but the Warriors played a smart third period preserving themselves for the Championship final.              

In the Championship final, the Warriors earned the right to face the undefeated Hespeler team who had beat the Warriors in round-robin play. The teams played another tight-checking first two periods with the score knotted at 0-0 headed to the final frame. Nole Musselman fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Hespeler goalie halfway through the third period with Houben assisting. That was all the Warrior goaltending duo of Sebben and Ball needed as they earned the shutout.

In 5 tournament games, the goalies combined to stifle the opposition allowing only 6 goals against in tournament, while the Warrior players piled in 20 at the other end. The goalies split the goaltending duties all weekend, including the Championship game and were solid when called upon. Notably, Ball made several saves during an extended 5-3 Shamrocks powerplay and Sebben stopped a penalty shot early in the third period to preserve the 0-0 tie, opening the door for Musselman's heroic goal to claim the Championship. Great start to the season for the team.
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