So close!!, News, Atom AE ('02-'03), U10-U11 Travel, 2012-2013 (St. Thomas Minor Hockey)

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So close!!
Submitted By jjohnston on Mon 10 29, 12
We've all heard the expression "always a bridesmaid, never a bride", but when you've never ever been invited to a wedding, being a bridesmaid for a change doesn't seem all that bad! Our Atom AE Stars travelled to Detroit on the weekend to play in the Motown Cup Tournament, and ended up losing in the finals in the dreaded shootout to the BCH Icedogs.

The boys played Pickering on Friday night to open the tournament, and just like our previous game against Strathroy, played two great periods of hockey. We held a 2-0 lead, and were not giving up anything towards our goal. Luckily we added a third goal early in the third period, because just like in Strathroy we fell asleep at the switch for a brief moment, and found ourselves in a 3-2 dogfight. Fortunately, this time we did not let our hard earned lead completely evaporate, and we held on for a game 1 win. It is a good thing too, otherwise the boy's may have found a lock on the gate to the pool back at the hotel, and a really ticked off coach standing guard. lol

Game 2 had us up against the Plymouth Panthers. I am not ashamed to say that I pulled out the Canada vs. USA card before the game to try to motivate the boys. It seemed to work for the most part, as we cruised to a 4-1 win. I don't think we played nearly as well as we did in our first game, but that was to be expected I guess after the mayhem I witnessed in the pool and the hallways until 10 o'clock the night before. As it turned out, these two victories secured our spot for Sunday, so we headed into game 3 that afternoon really playing for nothing.

AND FOR THE FIRST PERIOD IT LOOKED LIKE IT! We found ourselves down 4-0 after one, and that little vein in my head that I have not seen nearly as much of this year was starting to rear it's ugly head. The boy's regrouped, and actually won the last two periods 3-2, but the damage was already done. Let's see 4+2=6, 0+3= 3. Yep, we lost 6-3. The Icedogs were playing for their lives, we were not, but as it turned out, maybe we should have tried a little harder to take them out when we had the chance.

The boy's faced the Icedogs Sunday morning in the finals. Usually at this point in a tournament I have loaded the car and am barrelling down the highway home, but not today. For the first time ever for most of our boys, we were one of the last 2 teams standing. It turned out to be a terrific hockey game, our boys rebounded nicely from the loss the night before and were not the least bit intimidated. The game ended 1-1 through 3 periods and overtime, and this tournament would be decided by a shootout. I must say even before this, I have never been a fan of deciding a game in this fashion. Whether it be the NHL, ( whatever that is? ), Olympics or Juniors, it is a crumby way to win a game, and an even crumbier way to lose one. The Icedogs had a few very talented players, and as a team we contained them all game long, in the shootout all we could do is watch. It did not end in our favour this time, but we came as close to winning this thing as we possibly could, without bringing home the prize.

Disappointing? Sure a little bit after coming so close, but watching my players pass around the second place trophy in the dressing room, I'm not sure their smiles would have been that much wider if it had been the slightly larger trophy. Disappointment quickly turned to pride, as this was BY FAR our best showing in a tournament ever. Our new players from house league got to experience their first out of town tournament, and as always the boys had a blast hanging together in the hotel. We have a great group of kids, and a great group of parents on this team, and I think we can all agree that that was a weekend well spent. I hope we can be equally competitive in our home tournament a few weeks from now, and try to defend our home turf like our Major Atom compadres did. Great job boys, thanks for a great weekend!
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