The King Rebellion Peewee A team, packed up a bus
with kids, sticks, parents and snacks and headed off to Pittsburgh for the
annual “Pittsburgh Veterans Cup” Tournament, held from November 15th
to the 17th and returned tired but victorious with Gold medals in hand.
After winning the first game Friday, handily “freezing out” the Fredrick Freeze with a 9-0 victory, King went on later that day to win against the Garden City Falcons 5-2 and then clinched a spot in the final with a 3-3 tie against East Gwillimbury Eagles, Saturday morning at the ungodly start time of 7:00 AM.
Goalies Max Zemp and Adam Larizza, literally “stood on their heads” throughout the tournament, making some outstanding saves, but also causing some tense moments for the crowd.
Through the Gold medal Game, Max stayed his usual cool self, to stave off the Garden City Falcons, who were also very hungry for that Gold medal. Arriving in intimidating all black uniforms, designed to psych out their opponents, they played hard and refused to back down. Little did they know that King also had a secret weapon, Hockey Dad Steve McMahon who played the “I am a Champion” motivational speech over the loudspeaker, not once but twice on the bus on the way to the final game to get the team raring to go.
It was a nail bitter of a final, with a score of 0-0 at the end of the first. The Falcons scored in the second, giving them a 1-0 lead, and then with 5 seconds on the clock, King’s Brandon Mrakovcic scored to tie it up.
Despite many shots and close calls, the game ended in a tie, setting off numerous parent’s fitness monitors with “heart rate too high” warnings, and putting the game into sudden death overtime.
After numerous penalties on both sides, the final game winning goal came on a 3 on 5 advantage with 1:07 left on the clock, with a beautiful goal by Dante Alaimo to give the King Rebellion Peewee A their very first Tournament Gold win.