EPIC Battle in the Beach ends in Draw, News, Peewee 2 (Wasaga Beach Minor Hockey)

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EPIC Battle in the Beach ends in Draw
Submitted By Steve Gellow on Sunday, October 27, 2019
Many battles have been waged on the ice beneath the heavy timbers of the Wasaga Stars arena. And Sunday's match, one that both teams had been looking forward to since the start of the season, was among the best to date.

As players from both teams arrived at the rink, they were all business. Monday-to-Friday friends resumed the likenesses of bitter rivals as they prepared for three periods assigned to determine which of the two would be faster, smarter, and stronger on this Sunday evening. 

Pee Wee 2 players took the ice in emerald green, the deep carving of their skates in the ice sawing through the cheers of a huge standing-room-only crowd. As usual, heat for the fans was not operating, so the slow warmth generated by digesting rink fries and settling Sunday lunches was relied upon to keep their hands and toes just warm enough to remain rinkside.

Gently committed more to the Pee Wee 2 team's success than that of their hometown opponents, Pee Wee 2 fans settled in for the opening faceoff. Without hesitation, both teams' starting lineups took to battling up and down the ice, working hard for scoring chances, and defending relentlessly to prevent the opponents any chances of their own.

Within moments of the game starting, Pee Wee 2 coaching staff recognized that the players were showing a new level of commitment to one another. They were skating harder to win every inch of ice, and the frequency of green jerseys buzzing their opponents' net was triple what it had been in their last outing.

Benny took a jarring hit backchecking to protect the team's net, and after a few moments of recovery was back on the ice with the fire in his belly burning hotter than before. Above his head, the familiar Arnott jersey hung from the rafters, a beacon of what can be achieved through dogged determination and teamwork.

Cole and Logan took their assignments to heart, containing the other team's biggest, strongest players period after period. Lexi and Jayden owned the boards, endlessly checking their opponents, causing turnovers, creating scoring opportunities, and fabricating misery for anyone who tried to outskate or outmuscle their powerful frames.

Adam and Mateo buzzed the neutral ice with the tenacity of hyenas patiently awaiting opportunities to strike, and then attacking veraciously to overwhelm the players in white. Their sticks broke up passes, and their shots rattled around the dangerzone nearly every shift. 

The "Trio of Torment," each having displayed their dominance earlier in the afternoon by having coaching staff chauffer them to the rink, created scoring chances through grit and determination. Grayson and Zach each capitalized on opportunities during the game, providing Pee Wee 2 the offensive results that were needed.

Between periods, goalies from each side high-fived one another with their trappers as they passed at centre ice to change ends, a show of respect for each other's performance and a nod to the storied brother/sisterhood of the netminder. 

There was much more to the team's performance than what the fine-frontline-nine brought to the ice. The give-more-blueline-four tandems stole the show again and again by keeping the puck in the offensive zone as Pee Wee 1 tried to disrupt the attack from the gang in green. Serenity, Liam and Daynen set conditions for the waves of attack, angling out the white jerseys as they passed through neutral ice and getting pucks deep into the offensive zone. James did the same, but took matters into his own hands when the opportunity for a shot on net appeared. James calmly approached the puck, leaned hard on his stick, and sent the puck screaming at the net. The resulting rebound found an open winger, and the crowd erupted as they celebrated the tally. 

Ever steady between the pipes, Connor was tested constantly throughout the game. Like his teammates, Connor had arrived at the rink earlier in the afternoon with a renewed sense of focus and stopped shot after shot, staring down players with the coolheadedness of his favourite goalie with the same jersey number as his, Carey Price.

A late equalizer brought the match to an intense final few minutes. Both teams wanted more. One more rush at the opponent's net, one more exhilerating faceoff, one more flash of the puck in the back of the net and an explosion of noise from the crowd. But the goalies would have none of it, and the game ended in a draw that Pee Wee 2 could be proud of.

As both teams left the ice, the slow and steady clap of many grateful fans filled the Wasaga Stars barn. All except one fan, that is, who sat bewildered by the epic battle he had just witnessed. A single tear drew down his face, carving a barely noticeable shimmer from his left eye, down over his cheek, and ultimately meeting the edge of his chin, where he caught it with the index finger from the same side. The woman beside him asked gently, "Steven Ferrari, are you crying?"

"I'm not crying. You're crying!" he retorted through a sniff as he rose from his seat and walked toward the lobby. 

Coach John
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Printed from wasagaminorhockey.com on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:18 AM