Mitchell Fox January 2nd
Due to the fact that I played the rest of the tournament in Hespeler because of Liam getting bronchitis, I decided to recap the rest of the tournament in one long article. It was a great tournament for the Stingers and oh boy, it was exciting at times.
The second game of the tournament came against the Markham Waxers. This was another team that the Stingers had never seen play or played against. They went into the game hoping for a win because they were nearly guaranteed to move on to a good position with the win. The first period started and the Stingers got straight to work. It did not take long for them to gain some control over the game. The breakout was good, the Stingers possession and time on attack was very good and there were very few mistakes. Eventually, Daniel Chiarello put one into the net from low in the slot. Danny Serson also scored within the next few minutes. The second period was more dominant than the first. The Stingers outshot Markham 10-0 and had a 6-0 lead. The goals came from a hat trick by Cole and a great shot by Matthew. The third period was also very good. Henry scored a penalty shot after being tripped on a breakaway, daniel Chiarello scored his second of the night, Aiden scored a great one-timer and henry added two more to end with a hat trick. The game ended with an 11-0 win for the Stingers and a large shot deficit of 29-6 for the Stingers. It was a great game with lots of good passing and playmaking, great speed and aggressiveness and some very nice goals.
The third game of the tournament for the stingers was against the Brantford 99ers. Both teams were having a good tournament and it was likely that the winner would get to play as the top seed in the semi-finals. It was a fast, tough, well-played game but there was little scoring compared to the last. The first period was decently even and there were some very good and bad plays by both teams. Only Brantford was able to capitalize on a tough shot for William to save. The second period was worse for the Stingers. Brantford came out with great effort and the Stingers had some penalty problems. The 99ers had a few more shots and were able to keep the Stingers in their own end. All of this lead to Brantford increasing their lead to 2-0. The third period was much better than the previous two. The Stingers came out with more effort and speed and were able to equal or outshoot Brantford. Aiden was eventually able to put one in the back of the net when he got a great pass from Matthew while killing a penalty. The Stingers kept fighting but in the nd, Brantford was just a little bit too good. The game ended 2-1 and Brantford outshot the Stingers 19-16. It was not a great game and some of the players left the arena with an upset, dejected look on their face.
The next game was the semi-finals. The Stingers had finished as the second seed behind Brantford and were facing the London Bandits once again. The first period was pretty good. The puck was in the neutral zone for a large portion of the period and there were not many shots. Eventually though, Aiden was able to get a quick shot under the goalie’s glove. After this, the play went back and forth between the zones but no one scored. The period came to an end and there was not much to say. The second period was no better. London had a slight bit more possession but had about the same amount of shots and chances. Both teams were playing good defence and no one was able to get anything towards the net. Late in the period though, London tied it up. There was a turnover in the defensive end and after one pass, a Bandits forward got one past Brendan. The period ended and the Stingers had only four shots on goal. Luckily, the third period was much better. Right off the bat, the Stingers got possession and didn’t stop attacking. The forecheck was good, the backcheck was getting better and the passing was awesome. London had used up a lot of their energy in the second and were struggling a little to keep up with the Stingers. Henry was able to take advantage of this when the Stingers were stuck on the penalty kill. The shorthanded goal gave the Stingers a lead. It was only a one goal lead but it was still a lead. The Stingers tried to keep up their pressure but it was not easy. Once again, the play was mostly in the neutral zone and the Bandits were doing their best to get the puck into the Stingers zone. Fortunately, Brendan was good, the defencemen were strong and the forwards did their best to keep the puck. The game slowly came to an end and the Stingers won 2-1.
That last win meant that the Stingers moved on to the finals. In their last tournament, they had lost in the finals. This time, they were looking forward to a nice trophy and a tournament win. The game was against the only team that the Stingers had lost to so far, the Brantford 99ers. The first period was a tough one. The 99ers came out hard and the Stingers struggled on the breakout and with turnovers. William made quite a few saves and the Stingers could not quite catch up to Brantford. The period came to an end and it was still tied at zero. The second period was better. The Stingers came out with lots of offence and some great battling. The game became one of back and forth play and the Stingers found themselves relaxing a bit. Near the end of the period, the 99ers were rewarded for the number of shots that they had. They managed to get a shot up and over William’s blocker on a tough rebound. The second period ended and the shots were about even. In the third, the Stingers were better defensively and were able to limit the amount of shots against William. The great play of the forwards eventually lead to the tying goal. Cole scored an awesome goal on a quick shot from the high slot. It was a great play by Matthew and Aiden as well. The game continued on and their were no goals. This meant that the Stingers were going to overtime in a tournament final once again. The format was four on four overtime in this tournament so the Stingers came out with Aiden and Cole. A short while in, A Brantford player got a clear penalty when he took out Aiden near the boards. This meant that the Stingers had a four on three powerplay in overtime! Danny and Henry stepped onto the ice. Danny won the faceoff and after some good passing, Brantford got the puck back. It was not for long though because Danny stole the puck off of the one Brantford forward. He skated along the boards on the left wing and started to cut to the net. He shot…and watched as it hit the netting behind the goalie. The Stingers won! They had achieved their goal of winning a tournament and they had done it as a late Christmas gift.
It was a great couple of days for the Stingers and they came out of it with a nice trophy. They had played five games of hockey and partied like crazy over the three days and they were ready to go home for a week off before their first game of the winter season.