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TNT Minor Hockey playoff game reportsPosted March 12, 2013
The Ken Beattie Limited Minor Atom AA's sponsored by ScotiaBank returned from Kingston a little more "spirited" having split the away weekend and hoped to sweep the two at home to take the series and avoid another S.S. Minnow down the 401.
The Friday night tilt saw the boys be gracious hosts in front of a packed house by giving their guests a 3-1 lead. The first TNT goal scored by Steven "Spectacular" Mercer who drove the net and slammed one past the sprawling keeper on an assist by Cole Turcotte and Hayden Santo. Even though the score said 3-1 visitors, our young stars knew that the game was still in reach. Then late in the second, on a great three-way play, "Shoots Like a Cannon" Turcotte made the game closer on a shot from Wylie Birkett and Dalziel Kirby. 3-2 visitors heading into the flood.
Out from the flood, on a clean sheet of glass, the boys seemed to find the jump they were missing as they completely dominated the visiting side. A goal by Mitchell "Soft Hands" Smilsky found nothing but net from Michael Meszaros and Kyler MacNeil to even the game at three's. Then as the clock was winding down, the home stands could sense something good was about to happen. With Just over a minute to play, "The Wizard" Birkett took the lead on a great tic-tac-dough by Turcotte and MacNeil. 4-3 phenoms. With the Canadians goalie pulled and pressure at centre ice, Jacob Holmes passed it to Turcotte to clear the zone. Turcotte head manned it to "K-Dog" MacNeil who found the mesh to seal the deal and take a 2-1 series lead. Final score was 5-3 TNT.
The very next day, the home boys knew that they were one win away from making it to the highly coveted All-Ontario Finals. As they took to the ice, they were ready to play. The crowd was growing in hopes of seeing these boys save parents fuel and set a date with the already through Belle River squad. In the first, it was all home side but as the luck was ours the night before, the rabbit foot had lost its charm. All tied after one.
In the second, the home side still had momentum but the back of the net could not be found. In the span of 4 minutes in the middle of the frame, the charm changed its luck as Kingston scored three unanswered to take the habitual 3-0 lead into the final frame. Would the flood talk turn things around yet again?
Even though the boys took it to Kingston again in the third, the only goal scored was by Jacob "the Howitzer" Holmes on a blast from the point to give the boys something to build off going into the now inevitable Game number five. 3-1 Visitors was the final. Assists by Jackson Vojin and Turcotte.
The dreaded fifth and final game saw the boys commit to the plan and hop down the trail to Kingston the night before to avoid travel legs and fatigue. After their enlightened pre game routine, the boys arrived at the rink and saw several loyal fans that decided to make the trip and cheer the young stars on. As they took to the ice you could see in their eyes they weren't going to go down without a fight. With a few chances early it was clear that Kingston was also ready to play as they played
harder than our stars had seen to date. Halfway through the frame, Kingston took the 1-0 lead. This deflated our boys a little but one was nothing to over come. Then early in the second, Kingston scored two more to take the commanding 3-0 lead in dreaded game five. Timeout TNT.
With some motivational words and a regrouping of sorts, our young stars tried chipping away at the mountain ahead. With 5 minutes left in the second, Hayden Forrest found Smilsky who fed it back to "the Howitzer" Holmes who blasted one by the home keeper to give our boys a glimmer of hope. 3-1 after two.
During the between period talk you could tell in the boys eyes that they would not quit. Our superstar keeper earned his off season signing bonus and stood on his head to keep the game at 3-1. Thank you Scotty "Balls" Barnett. Then early in the third, our stars scored again to split the lead on a goal from "Shoots Like a Cannon" Turcotte on assists from Colin Ewing and Graysen Alexander. After this goal, spirits lifted and the travelled fans stood on their feet in joy.
Less than a minute later, the score was tied by "the Wizard" Birkett on an end to ender assisted by Holmes and Vojin. The smaller crowd blew the roof off the "Whig" and before they settled in their seats, "the Howitzer" Holmes blasted another one by to take an incredible 4-3 lead. Three goals in under two minutes by a star-studded team could have easily been missed if you went for a break. WOW!
With over ten minutes to play, there was still lots of time for the home team to score. Queue the keeper. "Balls" made a few lead keeping saves that seemed to demoralize the boys in white. With three to play, "Shoots like a Cannon" Turcotte gave us some "PHEW" as he slipped one past the big home tender. Assists by Birkett and MacNeil.
As the clocked ticked away, their goalie got pulled but in the end it was Turcotte that got the bonnet to complete the incredible, courageous, huge-hearted come back as we set the bunny free with a 6-3 victory. What a comeback.
The Boys will now travel the opposite direction down the 401 to play the highly talented and 2012 All-Ontario West Champion, Belle River Jr. Canadiens. Our schedule will be posted at http://tnthockey.on.ca/index.php?team_id=309705 as soon as we know. Please come out and support these young local stars.