Through five games played in a 16-team Atom C Tournament in Spencerville this past weekend, the South Dundas Scotiabank Atom C Lions trailed for only five minutes. Unfortunately, those five minutes were the last five of the championship game against the hometown South Grenville Rangers.
Coming off a runner-up finish in their first tournament this past December, the Lions were looking forward to another good result in this event. They played some tough games and produced some well-deserved wins before falling victim to the Rangers in the final and losing by a 4-3 count.
The Lions opened play on Friday afternoon against the Nepean Admirals. They dominated from the opening whistle, but had trouble popping many goals past the Nepean goalie.
After taking a tight 2-1 lead into the third period, the Lions exploded for four goals to win the game 6-1.
Jaeden Shaver led the Lions with a hat trick and single goals were scored by Shelby Martineau, Owen Orendi and affiliate Duncan Hutt.
Assists went to Kendrew Byers (two), Chloe Hart, Shelby Martineau, Rachel Nicolaassen, Mackenzie McKee-Markell, Trystyn Hummel and Devon Swindells.
The second round robin game had the Lions facing the Leitrim Hawks and this time out they produced a 7-1 victory.
Once again an aggressive Lions teams forced the opposition into many mistakes.
Shaver had a second consecutive hat trick to pace the Lions. Affiliate Sean Nicolaassen scored twice with Swindells and McKee-Markell also scoring.
Great teamwork led to many players picking up assists. They included Byers with three, Martineau with two, Caleb Douma, Matt Mackay, Hummel, Owen Orendi, Rachel Nicolaassen, McKee-Markell and Swindells.
For the second consecutive game, affiliate Brett Froats came on in relief of goalie Michaela Mustard. Both goalies played well when called upon.
The final round robin game ended in a 2-2 as the Lions went up against one of their league rivals, South Grenville C2.
After taking an early 2-0 lead, the shorthanded Lions defence was unable to hold off the Rangers long enough to ensure the victory.
The game ended in the 2-2 tie which, fortunately, was enough to allow the Lions to win their pool over the Rangers (based on previous games Goals For – Goals Against).
By winning their pool, the Lions secured a spot in Sunday’s “A” semi-final against Kemptville C2 Panthers.
Scoring the Lions goals in the 2-2 tie were Owen Orendi and Jaeden Shaver. Assists were credited to Kendrew Byers, Shelby Martineau and Sean Nicolaassen.
Goaltender Michaela Mustard stoned the Rangers time and time again as they pressured for the game winning goal.
Sunday’s semi-final game against the Kemptville C2 Panthers was a very close contest between two evenly matched teams.
The Lions jumped out to a very early lead on a first minute goal by Shelby Martineau (assists to Shaver and Byers).
The outcome of the game was in question until the final minute when Shaver (from Rachel Nicolaassen) scored into the open Kemptville net to put the game out of reach.
This hard fought semi-final victory sent the Lions into the “A” Championship Final against the other South Grenville team.
After only a one hour break, the Lions took to the ice to face their toughest competition of the tournament.
Once again, they jumped out to an early lead on a McKee-Markell goal assisted by Swindells.
The Rangers tied the game but Duncan Hutt (from Devon Swindells) put the Lions back on top by a score of 2-1.
Once again before the end of the first period, the Rangers tied the game.
The Lions took a 3-2 lead in the second period on a Hummel and Martineau setup to Jaeden Shaver.
The Rangers tied the game two minutes into the third and took their first lead of the game when they scored with less than five minutes left in the game.
The Lions gave it a great effort but were unable to score the equalizer before the final buzzer sounded.
The final score was 4-3 in favour of the hometown Rangers.
A very tired and disappointed group of Lions had absolutely no reason to be upset with the result.
Throughout their five games, the players competed hard on every shift and gave all of the effort that was asked of them by their coaches. Parents and coaches alike are very proud of the team’s effort and subsequent result (2nd place in the 16 team tournament).
The Lions return to tournament action next month when they conclude their season at the Kingston Kids for Kids Tournament, where they look forward to the opportunity to end their runner-up streak.
The Lions will now be preparing for their first round playoff opponent, the North Dundas Demons.