The Hagersville Novice LL 7 travelled to Port Colborne
looking to improve on our earliest first tournament of the year when we made
the finals before falling to a Powerhouse Port Dover squad.
Friday morning we opened our tournament against Dunnville Mudcats and got our tournament off on the right foot with a solid 6-3 victory. Dunnville was a strong team and we felt they had the chance to be our biggest rival in the round robin.
Kowen Bradley led the way with 4 goals in the game. Riley Montague and Zack Stewart also buried one. Assists in the game went to Hunter Wineguard, Montague and Fenton Devenny.
After a team lunch, and a chance to recharge the batteries we faced a host team from Port Colborne. The host PC Orange was clearly overmatched in this game and from the very beginning the Hawks had them reeling. The Hawks in the first couple minutes of the game jumped out to an easy 3-0 lead, on their way to cruising to an 8-0 victory. Logan Brown picked up the shutout, with the simplest shutout you will see in a game as he faced a single shot in this one.
Bradley again led the way with 4 goals, but the scoring was spread around, as R. Montague pocketed a pair, Stewart and Aubrey Montague on a beautiful one-timer also scored. Assists were aplenty, Bradley had 2, Sean Renshaw 1, Abbigale Jarvie 1, Tyler Alliston 1, and R. Montague 1.
After a great start on the Friday, which then included a pizza party and some swimming at the hotel, the Hawks came on the Saturday knowing they needed to win at least 1 of their remaining two games to qualify for Sunday. Well unfortunately for Waterford, the Hawks didn’t want to leave it to the end and in a game that was quite similar to the Friday afternoon game, the Hawks soared over them and beat them 7-0. Logan picked up his second shutout of the tournament but this one we faced triple the number of shots as he did in the first one, but was still able to turn away all 3 shots.
Contributions came from all over the score sheet in this one. Kowen scored 3, Riley Montague snapped home 2, Charlee Laforme with 1 and Aubrey Montague rounded out the scoring. Assists this game went to Kowen and Laforme with 2 each, Wineguard, Devenny, R. Montague, A. Montague, Stewart, and Alliston each finished with 1.
With a minimum of a semifinal berth clinched, all that was left was for the Hawks to clinch first. A win in their 4th and final round robin game would do just that. It was a back and forth game as the end of the first left us tied 3-3 with another team from Port Colborne, who was playing for their tournament life. Well after the first period the Hawks realized they were in for a battle and turned it up a notch to post a 7-4 victory, clinching first place in the division as well as knocking out PC and giving the second spot in the division to Dunnville.
Kowen had a dominating 5 goal performance, and not to be outdone is the shorthanded machine Riley Montague who fired home the other 2 goals, including his 3rd shorthanded goal of the tournament and about 10th of the year. Laforme led the way with 2 assists, and singles went to A. Montague, Devenny, and Alliston.
Onto Sunday and a semifinal game against….you guessed it, our rivals from Hagersville who qualified second in their division. As with all games against our home town practice partners we expected a tough game and we got just that. In the end though, the Hawks were able to survive thanks to a 4 goal outburst from Bradley to move onto the finals with a 5-3 victory. Stewart scored a big shorthanded goal in this game to round out the scoring. Assists went to Jarvie with a pair, Mariah Sawyer, Bradley, and A. Montague each added one.
Well after an one turnaround the Hawks were back on the ice with tired legs but high spirits hoping to win their 6th game of the weekend but to do so, would require a second victory over Dunnville as they beat Clarington in the other semifinal.
Well this game didn’t disappoint. It had everything you wanted to see in a finals. It was fast. It had great passing. Great skating. Huge saves. This game was a nail biter and you could feel it in the crowd. Roars would go up with each big save or great scoring chance, and it would be Dunnville who broke thru first to take a 1-0 lead. The Hawks weren’t ready to let that hold up though and Kowen Bradley scored a beauty to tie it up. Well heading into the third period this game remained tied, until Zack Stewart on a brilliant shorthanded rush, cut to the center of the ice before snapping the shot into the top corner of the net to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. The clock was ticking down, and with the goalie pulled for Dunnville they were throwing everything at the net trying to find a way to score and Logan was on top of everything when finally with less than a minute to go, a puck was able to squeak thru and just barely crossed the goal line to tie the score at 2. Is there any other way to decide a Championship game then to go to overtime. Overtime was 1 minute of 4 on 4, followed by 1 minute of 3 on 3, then another minute of 3 on 3. If no one scored it goes to a shootout. Overtime and Shootout line ups had to be submitted before the game so it was a chess match that neither team knew what the other was doing. The 4 on 4 was eventful as for a good 25 seconds the Hawks were playing 4 on 3 as R. Montague was injured, but no line changes were allowed so play continued shorthanded. Both goalies were required to make some nice saves and in the end neither squad scored, so on to round 2 of overtime. Well this one was also eventful and brought the crowd to their feet. Early in this overtime Bradley had a chance to win it but the Dunnville goalie made a big save to keep it going. Dunnville brought the puck back into the Hawks end but Logan would have none of it. All it took was the puck to bounce one little bit and Kowen was off to the races. Once he got a step on the Dunnville defense you knew it was going to be a showdown between him and the goalie. He made a great fake shot which slide the goalie out of position and Kowen slid it into the open net to set off a wild celebration from the Hagersville bench.
What a game. A big shout out to Dunnville who played phenomenal, but also the Hawks who persevered through 6 grueling games over 3 days to finish unbeaten and take home the trophy.
Great job Hawks. Assists in the final game were Devenny with 2, Sawyer, Jarvie, Bradley, and A. Montague.