Early Bird Tournament Finals

Mitchell Fox     September 20th 2016

The Streetsville Stingers had already started the season with a bang with a win over the Brampton Bears, back to back ties with York Mills and Duffield and a semi-final win over the Caledon Hawks. They were pumped and ready to finish off the early bird tournament with a win over their rivals, the Duffield Devils. This game was a rematch of the final of last years tournament where the Stingers won in the ninth round of a shootout. This year, both teams were ready to fight for the trophy that they feel they deserve.

 

Danny S., Henry, Carl, Tommy and Shane started the game. They were not quite ready for the speed that Duffield would use early in this game. Duffield got a bunch of good chances right away but Brendan was not ready to let one by him. He made a nice glove save and some big kick saves before the Stingers went to their first penalty kill. Trent tried to use aggressiveness to get a puck but was given a penalty. The Stingers knew what was coming and shut down the strong forecheck of Duffield’s powerplay. Tommy tried to get the team back into the game with two nice blocked shots but Duffield still had control of the game. It did not take long for the Stingers to get another penalty. Carl was called for a questionable penalty this time. Duffield looked ready for a goal but Aiden had other plans. After a nice interception, he took off on a breakaway. Aiden showed the Duffield goalie why he lead the Stingers in goals scored the previous year with a beautiful snapshot. Later in the penalty, the fans started to wonder if the refs had chosen a side. Dylan was cross checked after a whistle and there were many questionable calls. Duffield was sadly able to tie it up at 3:12 with a nice powerplay goal while the Stingers defence were out of position. The Stingers came back almost right away. Matthew made a nice play and got the puck over to Aiden. The Duffield goalie had no chance at saving Aiden’s second of the game. About half a minute later, Cole was called for goaltender interference and the Stingers were on their third penalty kill. Not quite halfway through the penalty, it got worse. Walker got called for a trip and it was a five on three for Duffield. The period came to an end as many Duffield players were practically on top of Brendan. It was 2-1 in the Stingers’ favour after one.

 

After a short stint without a player in the box, the Stingers got another penalty. Trent was going to the box for the second time. If it was not for Brendan, the score would be much worse for the Stingers. He proved that he wanted to win with an amazing save while sliding across the crease. The Stingers were having a lot of problems clearing the puck during the penalty kill and the chances for Duffield were starting to pile up. The Stingers were starting to get desperate as the penalty finally ended at 7:31. The Stingers were happy to have full strength. The play continued on and it was obvious that the Stingers were struggling a bit. Lots of risks were being taken and Brendan was needing to be absolutely amazing. This lead to the defence being forced to ice the puck far more often than the coaches wanted. The Stingers finally got some chances as Danny got a good shot at the Duffield goalie and Matthew hit the post. The problem was that the puck always ended up back in the Stingers zone. Brendan had to make an amazing glove save when Duffield got a two on one and he was doing way too much work. The Stingers got some chances but there were not really any shots. Meanwhile, Duffield already had about twenty. So, it was still 2-1 after two.

 

The Stingers started the third period better than the second. They were not backchecking well enough but they did stay out of the penalty box. Danny’s line showed some good defence while Matthew’s line provided offence and forechecking. Cole got a great chance on a pass from Matthew but put the puck right into the goalie’s chest. Davis’ line was doing a good job of passing the puck but could not quite get to to net. The puck started to go both ways but Duffield was still outshooting the Stingers by a ton. This came to their advantage as they scored a good goal on a rebound with 6:21 left in the third. The Stingers were struggling with turnovers as they were passing up the middle of the ice but so was Duffield. Dyla was even able to get a great chance thanks to a Duffield mistake. The game began to look very even but Duffield still had a ton more shots. The two teams started to get aggressive in the last five minutes of the third. Cole and a Duffield player both went to the box for roughing after a scrum in front of the net that was broken up by Evan Y. This was followed by the save of the game. Brendan made a save and the puck bounced out to a Duffield player at the side of the net. Brendan dove back and saved the shot with his open blocker. It became obvious that the Stingers needed to skate faster. Matthew, Shane and Tommy had to make some good defensive plays to make sure that Duffield did not get any shots. The tough third period came to an end and it was a 2-2 tie.

 

It could not be any more fitting really. A rematch of a final that went to a shootout going past the third period. Early on, the Stingers caught a very unlucky break. Aiden took off on a breakaway and was about to shoot when he fell and went spiraling into the goalie. Some would say that he was tripped by a Duffield defenceman. They were tangled up and Aiden could not get up. The ref then put his hand up for goaltender interference. The crowd erupted into a chorus of “What!”s and “How?”s but it did not matter. Duffield took advantage of the four on three and got a two on one. Brendan had no chance as a blistering shot went over his glove. Duffield won the finals at 1:28 into overtime. Brendan was given MVP for the Stingers with an impressive thirty save performance and Carl was given a huge thanks for his work in four of the five games as a replacement for the injured Daniel Chiarello. The Stingers fans, players and coaches all left unsatisfied as they felt that the refs had cost them the game. The truth is, Duffield outshot the Stingers badly and some would say that they deserved the win. On the bright side, it was a great game full of great goals, amazing saves and aggressive play…and of course, the Stingers won the silver medal!

silver medal

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