Thrilling Ending to the First Round!, News, Minor Peewee AA Blue, 2014-2015, Seeded (Kitchener Minor Hockey)

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Thrilling Ending to the First Round!
Submitted By Todd McIver on Sunday, February 22, 2015
On Saturday evening Team Blue took to the ice against their rivals from London. In what was a do or die game, Blue knew they had to come out strong and continue their attack all game long in order to stay alive!

Anticipation was high throughout the rink for the beginning of the game and the beginning of the first period did not disappoint! Blue's first few shifts of the game were promising. A smart 1-2-2 defence had the Green of London stymied and unable to get anything going. The counter attack of Blue generated a couple early scoring chances but the Green tender was equal to the task. It would be Green however who would notch the first marker of the game on a weird angled shot that somehow snuck through the Blue goalie. The second part of the period saw Blue get away from their smart defensive scheme and it resulted in much of the play being spent in the Home end of the ice. When the buzzer sounded to end the frame it would read 1-0 in favour of the opponent. Although the play in the game was very physical, the refs seemed to have their whistles in their pockets and were letting the kids play. 

The beginning of the second period was much like the way the first ended. London took control of the puck and with some good passing to open the ice had Team Blue chasing the puck. A poorly timed pinch by a Blue defender at the London line and 3 forwards caught deep chasing the puck carrier lead to another goal for Green in an odd man rush into the Blue zone. A quick chat with the boys on the bench reminded them to return to their defensive scheme and stop chasing the puck. This turned things around. Getting back to smart hockey proved to once again puzzle Green who had trouble moving the puck and turned the puck over numerous times in the neutral zone. More scoring chances in the Green end did not find their mark but Blue was flying! with the score 2-0 London, the third period would prove to be a nail-biter!

15 minutes left. 2 goal deficit. Momentum swinging our way. This was our game. Immediately of the initial puck drop Blue took control, regrouped inside their blue line and with a quick outlet pass hit a streaking forward who marched in and made no mistake! Now a 1 goal game, Blue knew they had the stuff to break the game back to even. The crowd was in a frenzy as they could feel the next goal for Blue was inevitable! They would not be let down! Only 3 minutes later, on some hard work and won physical battles in the Green end, Blue would bang in the equalizer! It was a new game. As the seconds ticked away, each team battled and the physicality of the game didn't slow down. With only 5 minutes to go, everyone knew the next goal would likely be the winner. In a split second, fortunes would change and not in favour of Blue. In a skirmish along the boards a Blue player was hooked to the ice and lost his stick when he fell. The refs arm went up. All watching thought this would be our chance with a late power play however it was Blue who ended up with a penalty. The players and coaches were stunned! A hooking penalty would be the call on a player without a stick. Only 15 seconds into the penalty London would tally the go-ahead goal which would prove to be the difference. An unfortunate turn of events for Blue would solidify their birth in the "Happy Round" of the playoffs. 

Although the outcome of this game wasn't what we had all hoped for, the fact remains that this group of very special boys have come together and had a very successful year. No one gave us a chance to make the AA loop and we did. Most figured we'd be a middle of the pack A team and we weren't; we were better. Every player on this team has competed hard and made great strides in their development. Not only did we prove all our detractors wrong, but we've shown everyone that we belong right where we are and had a great time while getting here! As a group of coaches we could not be more proud of our team. Next up is a date with London Purple and revenge for an ugly loss in a tournament final will be burning brightly in all of our minds! Let's Go Blue!!
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