Big Congratulations to King Rebellion Peewee A team for winning the Mark Woszczyna Memorial Spring Classic Tournament hosted by the Toronto Aeros. See details below...
The King Rebellion Peewee A team headed to Chesswood Arena in Toronto on March 23-25 for the Mark Woszczyna Memorial Spring Classic Tournament hosted by the Toronto Aeros. After a long regular season and a brief playoff appearance the team went into the weekend with one intention – to finish the season off right!
Their first opponents on Friday were the host Aeros and the young Rebels looked ready to own the tournament with a convincing 7-1 win in the opening game. Goals from N. Volpe, J. DeAngelis, S. Adams, T. Degli Angeli, and D. Kloepfer and strong goaltending by J. Plasa defined Game 1.
In Game 2 Saturday night, the Rebels once again looked prepared to carry on where they left off the night before. Goaltender C. Kokelj put in a solid game after being ill most of the week before. The speedy P. Miskowiec owned the neutral zone and team captain, L. Bottero was a force on the left wing consistently winning puck battles and motivating his team to keep powering through. Forward, J. Watt used his size and strength to get to the front of the net and create problems for the Hillcrest defenders. With 3 power play goals in the game, the Rebels took their second win of the tournament with a final score of 6-2.
Early Sunday morning, the boys had to win or tie Game 3 to put the Rebels into the Finals later that day – a loss would end their weekend and their season. King dominated in puck possession and scoring chances, but came up against a hot Goulding Park Rangers goaltender and a team that played a disciplined positional game. The teams played to a 0-0 score until about half way into the 3rd period when a game changing play developed from the neutral zone. DeAngelis drove the puck wide down the left wing, beating the defender on the boards and patiently waited out the play to create a 3-on-1 for the Rebels. T. Torres was trailing and called for the “DROP” which was a decoy for Volpe sneaking unnoticed behind the last defender in front of the net. DeAngelis slid the puck past the last defender to Volpe who buried the one-timer for the 1-0 lead. With time running down in the 3rd and an extra attacker the Rangers could not put anything past the Defence or Plasa who held on for a shutout. Strong defence from A. Baldesarra, N. Tomada, J. Melillo, B. Petrova, J. El-Sayed and S. Voorn, kept the opponents to a total of 6 shots on net in the game.
Sunday afternoon was the game the Rebels had been waiting for all weekend – going up against the Orangeville Flyers who also went 3-0 in the tournament. The boys had faced heartbreak in many tournament finals the past few years, but this time they had a focus that made the coaches excited. The Peewee A Rebels coaching staff knew they were about to be in for a great game! Within the first few minutes, everyone knew they’d be in for an exciting game.
The game gained intensity with numerous questionable penalties being called and the Rebellion having to fight off a 5-3. The Flyers pressured for a goal and the Rebels stayed strong in front of Kokelj, with defenders Tomada and Baldesarra on the ice for 3 minutes, unable to get a shift change! The young Rebels were giving everything they had on the ice. Early in the 2nd period, the Flyers opened the scoring, but the Rebels knew there was still a lot of hockey to play. They battled as a team through the adversity that kept coming their way. The penalty killing tactics and abilities of S. Adams fired up this team even more and they knew their focus and hard work would pay off. Five minutes into the third period, the Rebels went on the power play, and with persistent puck hunting and patience to set up the play in the Flyers zone, Volpe and Torres combined for the tying goal that sent a burst of energy to the team and their fans. The game ended in a 1-1 tie forcing a 5 minute, run time, 3v3 OT … and the Rebels would start the OT killing a penalty. After killing the penalty, and with time running down quickly, the game seemed to be heading for a shoot-out. With one minute left, the Flyers took a penalty and the Rebels were ready to shut this down: passing, communicating, screening goalies – whatever it took. All four players on the ice were instrumental in the play, with Degli Angeli winning the face off, playing it back to Baldesarra on the blue line, a quick pass to Torres with Adams rushing in to screen the goalie . . . Torres released a wrist shot right past the goalie’s right shoulder to win the Championship with 43 seconds remaining in OT. The ice was flooded with gloves, sticks and helmets and raw emotion as the Rebels had finally taken the monkey off their back and were now Tournament Champions.
Congratulations! Your coaches and parents are proud of what you accomplished. You worked together for this win!
A special Thank You to C. Brunato, G. DiPalma, S. Voorn and J. El-Sayed for helping out the team over the weekend playing the roles asked of them. S. Bryant was missing for the weekend due to prior commitments but was a big part of this accomplishment. To the Coaching staff, L. Tomada, M. Baldesarra, L. Napolitano, M. Bottero and D. Caranci, thank you for your dedication and hours of work and time over the season.