Pelham Powell Drywall Midget AE Panthers were victorious this past weekend at
the International Silver Stick AE Finals and came away with the Championship
Panthers defeated the South Muskoka Bears in the final game Sunday afternoon in
triple overtime by a score of 4-3.
teams entered the sixth period of hockey exhausted but showed tremendous skill
and heart throughout the game, which proved to be a very exciting contest for
the huge crowd watching at the Seymour Hannah Centre in St. Catharines.
The Panthers had won their four previous games in the tournament to reach the final with two wins Thursday, one Friday, and then a victory in the semi final over rival Petrolia on Saturday.
This is the first Pelham Panther team to capture a Silver Stick Championship banner at the Pelham Silver Stick Finals in the history of the tournament.
Game recap: Pelham had jumped out to a first period 3-0 lead to get off to the fast start they wanted. However the Bears clawed back to eventually tie the score halfway through the 3rd period at three apiece. The teams then played over 30 minutes of hockey without even one more goal being posted as regulation time ended in a tie, forcing 10 minute periods of 4 on 4 hockey in a sudden victory format until a winner could be determined. The teams played through 2 complete OT periods, with numerous glorious scoring opportunities at both ends of the ice occurring which frequently brought the crowd to a roaring leap.
The referees called for an extra flood after the fifth period, and both teams just sat there in exhaustion taking in drinks, but eager to try to be the team to get the next chance. After the flood between the 5th and 6th periods, the teams started at it again, and the Panthers came out flying on the fresh ice surface, generating many key chances right away with some impressive team speed from the forwards who still managed to find their skating legs.
Defenceman Evan Lacroix tallied the game winning goal midway into the sixth period on a perfect centering pass from Harrison Doan to the slot where the Pelham player jumped in to the play and rifled home the one timer for the overtime Championship winning goal. Goaltender Josh Powell stood strong in the Pelham nets throughout the long game, making numerous key saves in overtime to keep the score tied, and the Pelham defence logged a lot of ice in the four on four format without giving up a goal.
A large crowd was thrilled with the home team emerging victorious and the team celebrated this unique victory on the ice with a popular trophy presentation and then being issued the cherished Silver Stick Champions banner and sterling silver Silver Stick Champion pins.
Everyone in attendance thought it was just a great hockey game, a real demonstration of skill and tenacity from both teams, where many players just played to exhaustion, and where the South Muskoka Bears were incredibly disappointed and yet classy in defeat with a very sincere and emotional post game hand shake line. The Bears played a fantastic game with some great goaltending, and had obviously come to win as they had erased the early 3 goal deficit they faced. As past Chairman Dave K said in the post game speech: "This was a classic Silver Stick hockey game."
The Pelham Midget AE Team would like to sincerely THANK all of the Pelham friends and family as well as PMHA supporters from other teams who took time out of their Sunday and came down to St Catharines to provide the definitive home crowd support!
Included photos of the Pelham Midget AE Panthers team immediately after the game.