Minor Atom A Huskies Champs at 50th Annual Wayne Gretzky International Tournament!, News, Minor Atom A, 2019-2020 (New Hamburg Hockey Association)

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Minor Atom A Huskies Champs at 50th Annual Wayne Gretzky International Tournament!
Submitted By Jody Pfaff on Friday, January 3, 2020
The Minor Atom A Huskies went 5-1-1 over the Christmas break to win the prestigious 50th Annual Wayne Gretzky International tournament.

In the first game vs. the plucky Sarnia Sting the Huskies had to shake off some post-Christmas rust and overcome a first period 1-0 Sting lead. The Huskies would tie the game in the 2nd period and carried the bulk of the play firing shot after shot on the Sarnia net but were unable to beat some pretty good goaltending as the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

In the second game vs. the Burlington Eagles the Huskies started to look more like themselves and took a 2-0 lead in the 1st and would break the game open with 5 more in the 3rd for a 7-0 shutout win.

Game 3 saw the Huskies up against a hungry host Brantford 99ers AA team. The hometown team bounced out to take a 3-0 lead before the halfway mark of the 2nd period but the Huskies were able to get one on the board to make it 3-1 before the end of the 2nd. They continued to pour it on in the 3rd period and tied the game 3-3 with 5:37 remaining. However, Brantford was able to capitalize on a late power play and scored with 32 seconds remaining in the 3rd and were able to hang on for the 4-3 win.

The next game saw the Huskies overwhelm the Orillia Terriers for a 9-0 shutout blowout.

The game 5 quarter finals on Sunday was a chippy, penalty filled contest vs the Kitchener Jr. Rangers Red. The Huskies overcame some sloppy, undisciplined play to regain composure and manage a 3-1 victory.

The Huskies would get their chance to avenge their earlier loss against the Brantford 99ers AA.
In the Semi Finals on Sunday afternoon the Huskies were able to flip the script from their previous encounter and take a 3-0 lead before surrendering a lone goal against in the 3rd period. The Huskies played a sound game overall but still needed some very good goaltending for a 3-1 win against a very good team to secure their spot in the Finals on Monday.

In the Championship game on Monday the Huskies were up against another very good opponent, facing a Woodstock Jr Navy Vets AA team who had cruised to the Finals undefeated.

Woodstock jumped out to an early 1-0 lead at the 7:36 mark of the 1st and would take a 2-1 lead in to the 2nd. The Huskies began to pour it on and were relentless in the 2nd and scored two unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead into the 3rd.

The Navy Vets came back strong to start the period knotting the game at 3-3 with 7:03 remaining. The Vets continued to pour it on pushing the Huskies back on their heels. Some sensational saves from goalie Brayden Thomson kept the Huskies in the game as they would regain composure enough to get the game to OT. In homage to the tournament namesake, the overtime was to be played 3 on 3 for 99 minutes until someone scored. However New Hamburg would need a mere fraction of that time.

Logan Azzopardi grabbed the puck from some scrambled opening faceoff play in the neutral zone, weaving his way between two Navy Vet defenders just inside their blueline he was able to get in all alone and go bardown 20 seconds in to crown the Huskies Champs once again!

Overall all of the boys worked hard and played well against some very good teams. It should prepare the team well for their upcoming International Silver Stick Finals and OMHA playoffs.

Go Huskies!

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