Showdown In O-Town-Game 1, News, Atom LL1, 2013-2014 (Oro Thunder Minor Hockey)

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Showdown In O-Town-Game 1
Submitted By Greg Oldfield on Wed 03 26, 14
Sunday found both Oro teams in their home barn ready to face off for all the marbles in the first game in a best of five series.

This game had plenty of question marks leading up to it as our team had not seen a lot of practice time and were missing one of our leading scorers in Aidan. Both teams knew the importance of getting this win and the early series'  lead so we fired up the team to bring their absolute best efforts ("110 percent" yelled Owen pregame)..and that's exactly what they did.
The game started out a little sketchy as we were a bit rusty...passes and clears were weak and the coaches got on the kids to focus and lean into their stickwork. Ty was on his game though and led the way early with simple rims,hard clears and strong on puck play. We started to get our legs and the chances soon followed. 
Fletch started rushing with typical assertiveness and he and Cappy were a dynamic combination game long with crisp head mans, gorgeous cross ice passes for chances and wicked one timers. One problem early on...a guy they call Shorty.
We have seen big games from their keeper this season,but he was a reflexive monster first period using his blocker,glove,and sharp quick reads/movement to follow all chances,shutting the door...even during a 5-3 man advantage.Try as we may,there was no answer first period and we left it tied 0-0.
Told the team after one to keep up the same effort and the rewards will come..few teams have been able to skate with ours for three full periods this season and the latter half of games are typically our best.
Cappy took a feed from Ty and Colt to bury a rocket high corner which no tender in our league could stop. Cappy's wrist shot has steadily become so accurate and hard that he's developed into a true sharpshooter adding another layer to his wonderful two way play. Big goal, pumped the bench and one minute later Fletch went coast to coast to mimic the same play with an identically ridiculous wrister. 2-0 and we could feel the surge.
Strangely, we were  given as many penalty minutes this game as we had in the entire 8 game playoff round robin,and the coaches began to lose their cool with the officials, this one included. Apologized to team post game as we should do a better job of controlling our emotions, much as we ask and have always received from this,the least penalized team in the league. The entire D and PK were exceptional in killing off 5-3's and and one man disadvantages all game...and Fletch put on a clinic at ragging the puck and killing off critical chunks of each. I think those figure eight skating drills came in handy!
Fletch and Cappy combined on our third goal with a helper from Zack to push the lead to 3-0 after two. Zack had his wheels back after his long absence and was up and down his wing like the whirling dervish of old. Zack Attack's Back!
Into the third and Ty roared up the wing finding Cappy in the slot for another sharp marker and it was time to relax a bit. Cappy returned the favour later and Ty launched a blast into the rafters after Shorty somehow slid over to get a piece. Excellent passing on display all game...once again.
Evan and Mark were reunited gleefully and were forces all game. Evan was tearing up the ice ,Mark was an assertive tank and carrying the puck with speed and they hit Fletch for the final goal.
This was a total team effort..everyone brought that vaunted "A" game from the opening whistle. Cassie again patrolled the wing for two periods,and killed penalties at center. Back to D without a flinch and Miss Versatile makes this coaching job a breeze. Caelan was as determined as I have ever seen,making quick reads,moving the puck stick to stick and closing the gap to slow down the rush all game. Sky and Fast Eddie played position well,battled and created turnovers with strong sticks and hustle. Colt was again playing his ever consistent game, quelling any attackers  with his stealthy reads and speed and pushing the puck up ice to start rushes.
You always know what you get from Colt ...every game. Great job looking after the A in Aidan's absence...you play like a Captain in every sense of the word young man.
Bo was kept off the scoresheet for once,but played his third straight game up the middle and should be proud of his efforts...he did an admirable job back at center and generating scoring chances throughout. Your improved skating and speed is the biggest difference from the start of the season to now Bo...remarkable improvement.
And The Big O picked up his league leading 11th shutout of the season. The quick flippers were on full display this game and he was cat like to react to any chances that managed to penetrate our stifling defense.
So very impressed with our team's performance this game...effort,passing,finish and composure get top marks.

But it's just one game..and we must continue to bring this dedicated passion to the next match should we wish similar results.
With Aidan and Zack back in the fold we can now become whole for the first time in what seems like ages. 
Reassembled, the two best teams will clash once again for a Thunderous Game 2.
Best of luck to both squads.

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