Aces Peewee C Win Festival Cup Championship, News (Stratford Aces Girls Hockey)

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2018-2019 Taylor Fluid Systems Peewee C - Aces Peewee C Win Festival Cup Championship
Submitted By Jaime Neeb on Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Over the weekend the Taylor Fluid Systems Peewee C competed in the Stratford Aces annual Festival Cup tournament.  

The Aces opened the tournament against the rival Mitchell Meteors.  With the season series tied at one, the players and fans knew that this could be anyone’s game.  Both teams came out strong; each determined to seize control of the game with an early score.  Solid passing and relentless back checking provided the Aces with multiple scoring chances until finally, Josie Walker solved the Meteor net-minder by pouncing on her own rebound and firing, what proved to be the game winner, into the back of the net.  Final score Aces 1, Meteors 0.

In game two against the Kent County Fillies, scoring started early!  Thirty-five seconds into the game Ally Wheal dug the puck out from behind the Fillies net and found a wide open Stephanie Tsaltas parked on the door step to put the Aces up 1-0.  Later in the period, Avery Faulhafer fed Deidre Parsons who wasted little time scoring the second goal of the contest.  Twice during the third period, the Aces PK unit was called upon to kill a penalty and each time their staunch defense shutdown the Fillies attack.  Final score Aces 2, Fillies 0.

On Saturday, the tournament continued with a match up against the Storm from Saugeen Shores.  This game proved to be another nail-biter as both teams’ net-minders were called upon to make several key saves.  Late in the first, the Aces managed to get on the board when Ally Wheal buried her first as an Ace off the rebound from Stephanie Tsaltas’ shot from the corner.  Each team tightened up their defensive play and the lone goal proved to be the winner for the Aces, improving their tournament record to 3-0.

Game four against the South Huron Sabres took place at the Pyramid Recreation Center in St. Mary’s.  The Aces squad came out on fire.  Rachel Horan registered her first hat-trick as an Ace by setting up shop in front of the Sabres net, banging home any rebound that came her way.  Stephanie Tsaltas and Avery Faulhafer each added a goal to the contest, securing the Aces spot in the semi-final game with a final score of 5-1.

In the semi-finals, the Aces squared off with the St. Mary’s Rock.  Both teams played solid defense, limiting the scoring chances to a few.  Ava Neumeister made some spectacular saves to keep the Rock off the board.  The Aces managed to pin the Rock deep in their own zone and began cycling the puck.  Aces gunner Alanah McIlroy made no mistake with a feed from Ally Wheal as she beat the Rock net-minder five-hole to give the Aces the lead late in the second period.  With time winding down in the third, the Rock pulled their goalie and sent another skater to the attack.  The Aces’ defense, lead by Kylie Fifield and Rowan Aikten bent but refused to break, fighting for control of the puck until finally, an empty-netter sealed the 2-0 victory for the Aces and punched their ticket to the finals.

The stage was set for the championship game against the Lambton Attack.  Up to this point, a commitment to team work, a tenacious style of play and a no-quit attitude had proven the winning recipe for the Aces.  As they filed out of the locker room and made their way to the ice, you could see the determination written on their faces.  With just one glance we knew, it was Eye of the Tiger time.

From puck drop to final whistle the fans were treated to some of the best, fast-paced, action-packed, gritty, nail-biting hockey they had ever seen.  Scoring opened early in the second when a Lambton forward banged home a fortuitous rebound, giving the Attack the advantage.  Undaunted, the Aces stayed committed to their game plan with sustained pressure and keen positional awareness.  Their efforts were rewarded when a shot by Taylor Neeb slipped through a sea of defenders, beat the goalie, and knotted the game at one.

It would all come down to the third period. Which team would claim the championship?  Action resumed at a break-neck pace, the intensity continued to build. Mid-way through the third, a Lambton tripping penalty gave the Aces a man advantage.  With 55 seconds left in the power play, Devan Taylor took control of the puck, skated across the blue line and rifled a shot that deflected off the net-minder’s blade and into the net, giving the Aces their first lead of the game.

Sensing the game slipping from their fingers, the Attack threw everything they had at the Aces squad.  But this was not the first time the Aces had faced adversity.  Throughout the tournament the Aces had built a resiliency based on a foundation of playing as a single, focused, relentless unit. And it was with that determination that the Aces repelled Lambton’s attack.  With momentum securely in their grip, the Aces pressed the attack, not satisfied to rest on a one goal lead.  With minutes left in the third, Avery Faulhafer found the back of the net putting the Aces one step closer to victory.

On the ensuing face off Lambton took control of the puck, pulled their goalie for the extra skater and went on the attack.  The Aces swarmed to the puck, chasing the Lambton players back into the neutral zone, and as the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Aces began to celebrate the hard-earned Festival Cup Championship!

Well done Aces!  

Article by: E. Wheal  
This article has been viewed 267 times.
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