Warriors Silver Stick Semi-Final Loss, News, Minor Midget Rep (Stratford Minor Hockey)

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Warriors Silver Stick Semi-Final Loss
Submitted By Lynne Musselman on Monday, November 4, 2019
The Stratford Minor Midget Warriors, sponsored by Stratford Motor Products, lost 4-2 to eventual Champions, Oakville Rangers Red, in the Stratford Silver Stick Regional Qualifier on the weekend.

The Warriors opened the tournament against last year’s tournament champions, Duffield Devils, who defeated the Warriors 3-2 in the Championship game. The Warriors scored early, often, and in style, cruising to a 7-1 victory. Goalie Russel Sebben turned in a very solid start for the Warriors and went the distance in net. Tyler Wagler and Cole Lewis each had two goals and an assist in the game, while Jonas Schmidt added a goal and four assists. Caleb Arent and Drew Wilken both added unassisted goals, firing blistering shots past the Devils’ keeper. Matthew Barber stepped up at the Warriors’ blueline on a Devils player for a clean, hard hit in the second period, setting the tone for the game.

In the Friday afternoon game, the Warriors opened the scoring against the Waterloo Wolves off a Schmidt goal, from Lewis and Wagler. The Wolves answered a minute later to make it a 1-1 game after the opening period. From there, the Wolves scored four times in the middle frame, with the Warriors adding a goal by Lewis, from Schmidt and Bantam call-up Nate Williams. Jacob Hall scored on the power play from Nole Musselman and Lewis to get the Warriors within reach, but a late empty-netter by the Wolves dashed the Warriors’ hopes of guaranteeing themselves a spot in the semi-finals.

On Saturday morning, the Warriors faced a ‘win-and-advance’ opportunity, but would have to defeat the top-ranked 2004 Midget A team in Ontario, the Cambridge Hawks. The Warriors opened the scoring with just four seconds left in the first period by Hall, from Schmidt and Lewis. Hall went on to score two more goals to put the Warriors up 3-0, with Wilken and Anthony Guzvinec drawing assists on Hall’s second goal, while Barber picked up the lone assist on Hall’s hat trick goal. Sebben’s shutout bid was ended with under a minute to go in the game and the Hawks’ net empty, but he had made several key saves and some that were of the spectacular fashion, especially during a Hawks power play in the second period when he made a post-to-post save to rob a Hawks forward of an easy goal.

With the win, the Warriors earned a semi-final berth against the top-ranked 2004 Midget AA team in Ontario, the Oakville Rangers Red. The Rangers entered the tournament with an astounding 22 wins, no losses, and one tie. The Rangers opened the scoring with less than two minutes to go in the opening period. The Warriors answered back when Aubrey Carter converted a goal, from Schmidt and Hall. Down 3-1, Lewis scored early in the third on a power play from Schmidt and Wilken. Despite several opportunities to tie the game, the Rangers goalie was able to keep the game out of reach. The Rangers added a late goal to make it a 4-2, while the Warriors were pressing offensively for the equalizer. Goalie Curtis Ball was solid between the pipes for the Warriors, making key saves to give the players an opportunity to send the game into overtime. With seven forwards and five defensemen dressed for the semi-finals and no Bantams available for call-up duty, the Warrior skaters played a fast-paced and determined game until the final buzzer.

Notes: the Rangers went on the win the tournament with a commanding 4-1 victory on Sunday; on Saturday, the Warriors’ opponents carried a combined record of 35-5-2 and were the #1 ranked teams in Ontario for the AA and A categories, demonstrating the caliber of talent the 2004 birth year was able to attract to the tournament; next action for the Warriors is a rare Saturday night home game at the RBC in Stratford at 6pm, when they host the London Mustangs White team.
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Printed from stratfordminorhockey.com on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 6:37 AM