LL3s Win Gold In Wasaga Beach Tournament, News, Midget LL3, U18 Midget, 2016-2017 (New Hamburg Hockey Association)

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LL3s Win Gold In Wasaga Beach Tournament
Submitted By Albert Ross on Sun 01 15, 17
With regular season just completed, the Huskies Midget LL3s took to the road to compete in the Wasaga Beach Tournament on January 14. The boys were looking for gold in the 3-game winner-take-all 8-team format that saw them face-off against the Waterford Wildcats LL2 that morning. 

It was scoreless after one with both sides getting chances but the true colours of their opponent began to show in the second. The Huskies hard fore-checking and speed frustrated Waterford and the string of penalties was their undoing on the first goal of the game. Alex Wagler, working hard down low found Colin Shannon open who then passed the puck to his defense partner. Owen Ross teed it up and beat the screened goalie upstairs on the power-play. The Wildcats failed to learn from their undisciplined play and the penalties continued with the Huskies avoiding retaliation for the most part. The saving grace for their opponent was the stellar performance of their goalie who turned back repeated Husky efforts to advance the score. Desperation set in in the final minute as they pulled their goalie when the Dogs incurred 2 back-to-back minors. Shannon forced a turnover and hoisted it high to clear the zone. A defender tipped it with his glove and it sailed 200 feet to score the insurance marker on the empty net. The 2 – 0 win propelled them to face the Port Stanley Sailors who were themselves winners of the previous game. The Dogs were well prepared for their new opponent and continued the formula of hard fore-checking and speed. The dividend came when Nathan Gerber, finding no room in the slot, passed it back to Reed Cormier who sent it hard to the net from the point. Alex Wagler completed the job on the pad rebound. The celebration was short-lived as the Sailors bounced back on a similar play a minute later. The deadlock continued in the second frame and the Dogs went to the penalty kill when a slashing call was levied. Gerber was again the catalyst that changed things. He won the puck battle behind the opposition net and put it on the tape of Alex Wagler riding high in the slot. He made no mistake on the short-handed play that regained the lead for his team. It proved to be the game winner as neither side could move the needle in the third despite several efforts. The 2 – 1 win was enough to secure a berth in the final gold-medal game against the Lefroy Icebreakers that evening. Their opposition was a fast-skating club that immediately tested Husky net-minder Carter Schwartzentruber. He proved to be the rock upon which the Husky defense relied for 3 periods of play. The opener came on a power-play fast breakout by Dylan Hempey to Gerber who was questionable to play at game time due to an ankle injuring late in the previous game. His determination paid off when he cycled the puck to line mate Tyler Wagler who in turn found Alex open in front. The Lefroy goalie had no chance but his team redoubled their efforts finding the net as the period wound down. It was a tying short-handed breakaway that caught the Dogs off-guard but it would not be repeated. The deadlock was finally broken late in the second when Mike Thrush fed the puck up to Charlie Slessor who raced to the net alone. His wrist shot found the mark and the Dogs went into the third as leaders. It was rough and fast with both sides taking penalties and it looked desperate as the Dogs went to the penalty-kill on a questionable roughing call. Gerber, proving why he wears the C, won a puck battle behind the opposition net and wrapped it around to score the insurance point late in the frame. The Icebrakers were desperate and ran Schwartzentruber twice in succession to no avail. The scoreboard remained 3 – 1, confirming the Huskies as gold-medal champions of the tough 3-game event. 
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