Midget LL3s Finalists In Paris, News, Midget LL3, U18 Midget, 2016-2017 (New Hamburg Hockey Association)

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Midget LL3s Finalists In Paris
Submitted By Albert Ross on Sun 04 02, 17
The New Hamburg Huskies Midget LL3s capped off their season with one final tournament in Paris held from March 31 to April 2. New Hamburg Midgets are no stranger to the Syl Apps Memorial venue but have never been able to secure any hardware given the number of teams and quality of competition but this year was going to be very different. There were 12 teams registered including their fraternity brothers, the LL2s whom they recently conceded the Grand River championship the previous week. 

The LL3s had to face 3 teams in round robin action and came away with a first place standing in their pool at the end of the second day. Game 1 was a decisive 5 – 1 win over the Paris LL2 squad followed by a 5 – 0 shutout victory over Midland LL1 on the following morning. By the end of the day, the Pack had pocketed another 5 – 1 win over Dresden propelling them to the quarter final match on the morning of April 2 against the second wildcard team which happened to be Paris LL2 again. Carter Schwartzentruber already had an enviable record between the pipes and he did not disappoint in this game either. Paris was eliminated in a 3 – 1 grinder that made the Dogs the team to beat in this tournament. The semi-final round saw the Huskies facing North Middlesex, a team that had a reputation for being hard-hitting and intimidating. The Dogs were up to the challenge and played one of the best games of the season, using their speed and team play to overcome their opposition. Nathan Gerber opened the scoring early on a centering pass while Ryan Pierson doubled it up at the end of the frame while shorthanded, on a beautiful feed from Luke Aikman. The tempo was furious as was the parade to the box for both sides, but the Dogs were giving better than they got. Alex Wagler tallied the next marker from the slot on a feed from Gerber late in the frame to widen the lead. Aikman secured the final point on a pad rebound during a power play mid-way through the third. It looked like the Dogs were going to escape the intimidation tactics of their opponent as the clock wound down. Rough stuff at the end of the 4 – 0 match saw two Huskies suspended that left the LL3s short-benched when they advanced to the final. As fate would have it, their fraternity brothers, the LL2s, would be their opposition in what everyone knew would be a game worth watching. The LL3s were first on the board when Owen Ross forced the offensive zone on the power-play and put the puck over to Brayden Gingerich who wasted no time in sending it to the LL2 net. Gerber picked up the rebound and opened the scoring halfway through the first. The LL2s answered with 2 back-to-back goals with the last one coming on a power-play with seconds remaining in the frame. The second period was a war of wills as both teams looked for advantage but the period saw the scoreboard stagnated at 2 – 1. It was more the same in the third as chances followed chances until the LL2 captain made the most of a breakaway and beat Schwartzentruber on a deke. The LL3 captain answered with less than 2 minutes remaining. Gerber’s upstairs shot was made possible on a perfect feed from Colin Shannon and it made the statement that the game was not yet over. With Schwartzentruber on the bench, the LL3s made a last stand to tie the game but it was not to be. The LL2s secured the empty-netter insurance marker and took the 4 – 2 championship final. It was an exciting tournament for both teams and marks the first time in many years that a midget team from New Hamburg made it to the finals and won it. It is absolutely unprecedented that two teams from New Hamburg made it to the finals and both teams are to be congratulated for their efforts. Well done!
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