Nov 18, 2021 | JA Smith | 498 views
Saugeen Shores U11 Rep Storm Takes Second Place in Exciting Weekend Tournament
U11 Rep Storm, sponsored by UNIFOR, recently headed to Wellesley/St. Clements for the Twin Centre Stars Rep Classic Tournament.
The Storm played their first game against the Mitchell Meteors on the Friday evening and came out strong right from the first puck drop. Will Conley opened the scoring with a short-handed goal, followed by a goal from Mack Smith, on his way out of the penalty box, on a puck cleared by Richie Buckland. The third goal came from Gordy Brady, assisted by Will Conley, to end the period 3-0.
Chase Cosgrove scored both Storm goals in the second period, one on a solo effort and one assisted by Kai Bailey and Richie Buckland. Mitchell also found the net twice in the period to end the second with Saugeen Shores up 5-2. Brock Harrison got the first Storm goal of the third period, assisted by Will Conley and Radek Ebenstreit, then Richie Buckland and Bradley Seaman assisted Chase Cosgrove in his hat trick goal with two minutes left to play. Mitchell scored one more goal in the closing seconds to end the game 7-3 Storm.
After the exciting first win, the kids were riding high on Gatorade, hockey, and sugar, bouncing from room to room before their “10 pm curfew”, and some of the parents appreciated the tolerant hotel staff as they were enjoying some camaraderie of their own. The Friday evening win meant that the Storm had the morning off on the Saturday, giving the families time to check out some local shops and eateries like Pro Hockey Life and Lady Glaze Doughnuts.
After a relaxing morning, the team was back in hockey mode for their 1 pm meeting with the host team, Twin Centre Stars, in their first challenge of the tournament. The teams were well matched with the play going back and forth and the game remaining scoreless for the first 16 minutes of play. Some frustrating Storm penalties saw the squad fight 6 minutes of penalties before the Stars scored an even-strength goal near the end of the second period. The Storm responded in the final seconds of the period on a shot from Jack Tiffin with Mack Smith there to put in the rebound. Twin Centre scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, a minute after the Storm finished killing a penalty carried over from the end of the second. Two more penalties for the Storm had them scrambling for part of the period, and despite turning up the pressure and pulling their goalie, they came up short and posted their first loss of the tournament.
They put the tough loss behind them that evening when the players, coaches, and families spent a fun night at Bingeman’s enjoying pizza, bowling, arcades, and each other’s company. The Storm were ready for their game against Tillsonburg Tornadoes on the Sunday morning, needing a win to move on to the championship match later that day against the home club. Greyson Wolfe had a great drive in the first period to set up Kai Bailey for a short-handed goal, then Tillsonburg came back later that period with a short-handed goal of their own. The second Storm goal came from a great passing play between Mack Smith, Liam Huber, and Gordie Brady that allowed Mack to put it past the Tornado goalie for his third goal of the tournament. The Storm held the lead until Tillsonburg tied it up with 20 seconds left in the second period. With fans on the edge of their seats, and both teams playing their hearts out to avoid an early end to their tournament, Gordie Brady came through with a play for the highlight reel, faking out the goalie and burying the puck in the back of the net. Tillsonburg pulled their goalie at the end of the game in a final effort to tie it up, but the Storm held strong and ended the game with a 3-2 win, earning them a trip to the finals and a rematch against the undefeated Twin Centre Stars.
The squad had an hour to dry out their gear and rest their legs before the championship game at 1 pm. The Storm started the game strong with good positioning and crisp passes to hold the Stars scoreless in the first period and allow Chase Cosgrove a strong drive to the net to open the scoring on a feed from Richie Buckland. Saugeen Shores took only two penalties during the game, but it was enough to let Twin Centre tie the game with a power play goal in the second period. The back and forth play continued with strong drives in both directions until Twin Centre took the lead later in the second. The Storm tied up the game early in the third period on a goal by Richie Buckland, assisted by Will Conley. The two teams battled on for the rest of the period with chances at both ends of the ice, giving the parents and fans lots of nerve-wracking excitement. Heartbreak for the Storm came when Twin Centre scored the winning goal with 25 seconds left in the period, ending the hard-fought game and well-played tournament in a 3-2 win for the host team.
The UNIFOR Saugeen Shores U11 Rep Storm wore their second place medals home with pride after a fun weekend of hockey that supported strong team development for a great group of boys that play with passion and heart every time they step onto the ice. Go Storm!