The Pelham Bullseye Mechanical Panthers Wins Gold at Ingersoll Olympics!!
Head Coach, Dave Shirton and his Bantam Local League team travelled to Ingersoll, November 18-20th to participate in the Ingersoll Olympics Local League Tournament, taking home the gold medal with four straight wins!
The team had their first game on Friday the 18th, against Thorold. The Panthers came out strong and jumped to a quick lead. A hat trick by C Vitucci and two more goals by A Battista and E Engel allowed the Panthers to win their first game, 5 -1.
Saturday morning, the Panthers played the Ingersoll 1 Team in their home rink. Once again, jumping to a strong lead with two goals by Jacob Shirton, as well as goals from C Vitucci, C MacJanet and A Battista, and multiple assists and aggressive forechecking by C Ratcliffe. The Panthers skated to 5- 3 win.
Saturday afternoon, the Panthers had to return to the ice for the second game in one day; this time, playing against the Mount Brydges Blue, with the victor advancing to the championship game. Both teams were hungry for the win and came out trying to take advantage of any mistake by the other team. Unlike the previous games, this game relied heavily on the defensive abilities of S Barnes, B Shirton, E Young and K Little. All four defense were constantly put to the test to pinch when possible, as well as being able to constantly rush back to not leave their goalie S Atherton stranded. With one goal each by C Vitucci and R Harold, the closely matched game ended in a 2 to 1 win for Pelham.
Sunday afternoon brought the Gold Medal game between Pelham and Mt Brydges Red. The teams had not faced each other in the round robin play and neither had lost, yet, in the tournament. The game was set at a fast pace from the onset. Pelham goalie S Atherton was put the greatest challenges yet in the tournament. He was able stand to the task and shut down the Mt Brydges' attackers.
With a slap shot from K Little at the blue line, Pelham was able to break open the scoring in the first period. Followed shortly by a goal by E Engel, Pelham closed the first period up by two. Mt Brydges came out stronger in the second period looking to get on the board. Finally after numerous attempts, Mt Brydges scored with 2 minutes remaining in the second period to complete the period, with Pelham still up 2 - 1.
The third period had both teams leaving it all on the ice with continually back and forth attempts. With 32 seconds remaining in the game and a scramble in front of the Pelham net, Mt Brydges finally found an opportunity and tied the game, forcing a 5 minute 3 on 3 overtime period. As expected, the overtime period was at full speed from the moment started. Pelham goalie S Atherton kept Pelham in the game by saving multiple shots within the first couple of minutes.
At 2:56 of the overtime, C Vitucci scooped the puck at the opposing blue line and took it in to beat the goalie and give the Panthers the Championship win. Parents and Players alike sat on the edge of their seats for the entire game and filled the arena with cheers with the win!