Thunder U11 Team 1 ~ Challenge Cup CHAMPS!, News (Caledonia Minor Hockey)

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Jan 23, 2024 | Arli Adams | 2719 views
Thunder U11 Team 1 ~ Challenge Cup CHAMPS!
ChampsThe U11 Thunder Team 1 played some of their best hockey of the season throughout the Caledonia Challenge Cup Tournament.

 Caledonia U11 Team 1 opened the tournament on Friday, January 12 against the Grimsby Grizzlies. The Thunder stormed out of the gates early, with Bennet H and Layton H collecting assists on goals by Fletcher F, Layton H, and Spencer K to give the Thunder the 3-0 lead after one period of play. In the 2nd period, strong forechecking by wingers Dom P and Callum W kept the Grizzlies at bay. In the 3rd, despite a couple of goals by the Grizzlies, the Thunder would add 3 more goals - 2 from Zac A and one from Corbin D. Defencemen Niko P and Mason A especially helped shut down any further Grizzlies' offence, and goaltender Davin S made a couple big saves on breakaways, giving the Thunder the 6-2 victory. On Saturday, January 13, the Thunder would open the day against a very strong Pelham Panthers squad. While the Panthers would open with 3 quick goals, Zac A responded in the first to leave the score 3-1 for Pelham. However, the Thunder would continue to chip away at the lead, with Fletcher F collecting a goal in the 2nd, and then another in the 3rd, to tie the game. Dawson F would slam the door on the Panthers in net the rest of the way - the final score being 3-3. That afternoon, the Thunder would play a very motivated Waterford Wildcats team, who opened with a goal in the first, and a 2nd at the beginning of the second period to take a 2-0 lead on the Thunder. However, Caledonia would respond, with Callum W assisting Zac A on a goal, and Fletcher F adding another to tie the game. In a back-and-forth battle, Waterford would add a 3rd goal before the end of the period, giving the Wildcats the 3-2 lead after two periods of play. While the Thunder would press the attack in the 3rd, they were unable to find an answer to the Wildcats netminder until the final minute of the game. The Thunder, with their goalie pulled, would see Zac A and Layton H work together to set up Fletcher F with the game-tying goal. Fletcher F would then win 3 consecutive face-offs in the Caledonia end in the final seconds of the game, with Spencer K icing the puck to seal the tie and give Caledonia the 2nd seed in the division to move them onto the semi-finals. On Sunday morning, the Thunder would be matched against the 1st place team from the other division - a very talented and hard-working Caledonia Team #3. Team 3 would open the scoring in the first period, giving them the 1-0 lead after the first twelve minutes. In the 2nd, winger Jo T would make a great play along the boards, springing Zac A loose to score and tie the game. In the third period, Team 1 would press the attack on Team 3, with Zac A scoring on the powerplay and Fletcher F adding another goal. Then, with the goalie pulled, Nolan G would seal the victory for Team 1 with an empty-net goal, and goalie Dawson F would shut the door the rest of the way, giving Team 1 the hard-fought 4-1 win and a trip to the Championship game. In the Championship game, Caledonia would once again face off against the Pelham Panthers in a rematch from the round robin games. This time, Caledonia would open the scoring, with Zac A collecting a goal a couple minutes into the game. Pelham would press the attack, scoring to even the game after one period of play.  In the 2nd period, Callum W would assist Nolan G on a goal to give Caledonia the lead, and goalie Davin S would make several key saves to keep the lead intact going into the 3rd period.  In the 3rd period, Fletcher F would assist Spencer K on a goal to give Caledonia the 3-1 lead, before the Panthers quickly responded to make the game 3-2.  With 7 minutes remaining, Jo T would assist Zac A on a goal to restore the two goal lead for the Thunder. From there, the defence of Niko P, Mason A, Dawson F, Layton H, and Bennet H would work extra hard to stop Pelham's attack. In the final few minutes, goalie Davin S would make a couple of saves on high shots from the Panthers, ending hopes of a comeback. Caledonia would achieve the 4-2 victory, winning the Challenge Cup Tournament Championship!