John Henry Memeorial Tournament, News, Atom LL, 2014-2015 (East Lambton Minor Hockey)

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John Henry Memeorial Tournament
Submitted By Jim Rops on Tuesday, December 30, 2014
John Henry Memorial Tournament

Your East Lambton Eagles travelled to the historic John Henry Memorial Tournament in Strathroy.  Riding a 12 game unbeaten streak in league play including 7 wins and 5 ties this team was ready to compete. 

In their first game, they were able to come out of the gates with a strong showing in a 6-2 win over Mt Brydges Gold. Their next opponent was Strathroy Blue, who the Eagles had met twice earlier in the season, splitting that series 1 game apiece.  With a strong showing in net by Keagan Smith, and 2 dingers from Joey Hayter, the team was able to pull off a 2-0 victory in a game that kept the fans on the edges of their seats.

The competition was about to get tougher and the Eagles knew they had their work cut out for them.  In the 3rd game the Eagles were matched up against a very strong team from Petrolia.  Going down 2-0 early in the game, this group of HARDWORKERS was able to battle back.  After a questionable call to put the team down 5 on 3, Hayter was able to take control of the puck and weave his magic with a highlight reel shorthanded goal.  Later in the second period, Josh Podolinsky made an excellent pass to Hayter in front of the net for a one timer to tie the game 2-2.  With 4 seconds left in the game and the Eagles down a man, a Petrolia player threw the puck out from the corner that somehow found the back of the net.  What a GREAT game to be part of but a tough one for the Eagles players to lose! 

With that loss, the Eagles had to regroup and prepare themselves for the bronze medal game against another strong Strathroy team, who they had tied 2-2 and 4-4 earlier in the year.  After a lot of encouragement from their parents and coaches these kids were ready to give it all they had.  The Eagles came out on fire but found themselves down 2-0 after the first period.  With absolutely no quit in these kids, they were able to battle back and tie the game sending it into a 3 on 3 sudden victory over time.  After 5 minutes of end to end action and Riley Freer making stellar saves to keep his team in the game we were sent to the dreaded 5 man shoot out.  Eagles Joey Hayter, Josh Podolinsky, Brady Copeland, Josh Rops and Connor Cumming got the nod to show their stuff.  With Riley giving it everything he had, Connor bulging the twin and the other Eagles being denied by Strathroy`s goalie the Eagles came up short in the shoot out.

This group of kids played their hearts out and left it ALL on the line.  The coaches, parents, grandparents, friends and family in the crowd were treated to four great games of hockey.  We are all very proud of the effort that these kids showed.  Excellent work boys!!

Coach Jim

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