Warkworth Bantam's go to Final for third straight tournament, News (Warkworth Minor Hockey)

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Warkworth Bantam's go to Final for third straight tournament
Submitted By KMCGEE on Monday, March 5, 2018
The Warkworth Bantam Bulldogs went to Aurora this past weekend for their final tournament of the year. For the third time in three tournaments this year, they went to the championship game. All three times it took extra time to decide the winner. Unfortunately this time we came out on the short end losing the game in overtime 4-3.

However, this team should be very proud of themselves for winning a gold and two silver medals in three tournaments this year. I know that as a non-parent coach, I am super proud of this group of boys who are going through a tough time in life dealing with changes and hormones. They have really grown up a lot and are becoming respectable young men.

The overtime loss broke a team 13 game winning streak. Furthermore we have only lost one game in regulation out of our past 23 games this year. Not bad for a team that only won 1 game out of their first 6 on the season.

The excitement in Aurora began with a 6-2 victory over the hometown team. Patrick Hannigan was a force with his relentless fore-checking and non-stop skating, earning him the player of the game award. He even chipped in with a goal and an assist. Other goal scorers were Riley McKenzie, Graison Morrison, Kain McIvor and Logan Granger with two. Assists went to Austin Ashby, Michael Burgess, Riley McKenzie and Connor Turney.

Our second game proved to be a little more of a challenge, but we persevered with a winning score of 5-3 over Georgina. Graison Morrison was unbelievable in this game with 4 goals. Of course with this performance, he was named player of the game. Kain McIvor added the 5th goal. Assists went to Matt Young, Noah Kelly, Tyson Stanley, Gabe Whalen, Dylan McMurray and Logan Marshman.

The excitement of the tournament really got wound up in the third game. Playing against another undefeated team from Welland, we knew that we had to win this game to guarantee a spot in the semi-final. Welland was a very strong team who had steam-rolled their first two apponents, so we knew we would have to step it up a notch to get the win. And boy did they. This was probably our best game of the year. The Bulldogs absolutely smothered Welland, giving them no time and space and limiting them to only 4 shots on net, while not taking a single penalty in the game. However, the Welland goalie kept them in the game as we were only able to score one goal when Graison Morrison finally banged home the third rebound to score the game winner. Michael Burgess picked up the assist on the play. Kain McIvor was named player of the game for his outstanding two-way hockey that we have become accustomed to this year.

As if that game wasn't exciting enough, the semi-final provided the ultimate drama in a hockey game. Playing another tough apponent from Sudbury, the game went scoreless through the first two periods. Aidan Robson was stellar turning away 16 shots in the game, but one snuck by him with only 5:38 remaining on the clock. It wasn't looking good for the Bulldogs with only 14.9 seconds left on the clock and our goalie pulled for the extra attacker. Sudbury won the draw and immediately iced the puck with an attempt that missed the empty net. Now with only 10 seconds left, Sudbury won the draw again, and iced the puck missing the net again. This set the scene for the drama to follow. with 4.9 seconds left on the clock Kain McIvor scrambled the draw and managed to squeeze the puck back to Gabe Whalen. Gabe fired a last second wrister that beat the Sudbury goalie bar down far side with .1 second left in the game, forcing a shootout. Once again Aidan Robson was outstanding in net allowing only one goal in the shootout and the Bulldogs got goals from Graison Morrison and Riley McKenzie to win the game. Gabe Whalen received player of the game for his timely goal, but honourable mention went to Aidan Robson for his great performance in net.   

The championship game began with a group of tired and worn out players from all of the excitement and energy spilled in the previous two games. But they left nothing in the tank taking the game to overtime before losing a heart-breaker 4-3. scoring the goals were Graison Morrison, Logan Granger and Matt Young. Dylan McMurray was a standout in this game getting the player of the game award.

The Bulldogs have one piece of business left when we head into Ennismore tonight to play game two of our Leo League final. We are up one game after winning game one in Warkworth 6-2. Let's finish of the year right with a win tonight. GO BULLDOGS!
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