As the holiday season kicks off and 2008 is soon to be behind us, King’s Sports Centre and the WestTel Youth Roller Hockey league found the perfect way to end an historic year.
On 13 December Kings hosted the third consecutive Youth Hockey Championships at the WestTel Arena.
The eventful day covered four Division Finals, with non-stop action and entertainment.
The first game of Championship Saturday saw the 6U league leader Coldwell-Banker Rangers take on the RBC-Trust Lightning squad.
The final game of the season marked only the third time that the little guys played against real goalies.
The Lightning had an historic shoot-out win against the Maples Stars in the semi-finals but were unable to hold off the offensive Ranger line up of Joe Allom (2), Justin Hastings and Brad Lansdell. RBC-Trust Lightning scorers included Doug Rowland and Jabari Walrond.
Meanwhile the WestTel 6U Youth Roller Hockey League has shown steady growth since its inception earlier this year.
Ray Singh, League Director said: ‘This young age group has been a priority to the league and it has paid its dividends with some fantastic progress.
‘The coaches have done a great job this season to foster both individual and team development and the keep-it-fun attitude has done wonders for the player’s development.’
After only three seasons, the WestTel youth roller hockey league already has its first dynasty.
Coach Kevin Lloyd and the KPMG Senators had a fantastic season and claimed their third straight WestTel Youth Hockey Championship with a 4-2 victory over the Caledonian Kings.
The Kings, coming off a big win on 6 December, played very well but in the end were unable to hold off Senators scorers David Pitcairn (2), Ryan Lloyd and Ethan Finlason. Danny Link and Nat Meghoo each put up goals for the Kings.
Coach Dave Champoux was proud of his team’s accomplishments in the playoffs and commended all of his players on a great season.
Senators coach Lloyd said: ‘As a coach, it is a great feeling to see a group of players work hard during our practices and games to continually develop their skills and knowledge of the game.
‘Their motivation levels remained high and their positive attitude really encouraged them to work and play together as a team.
‘We had a lot of fun this season and it was particularly pleasing to see each one of our players build so much confidence in their own abilities and in each other.’
In the U12 division the Appleby Sharks started the season off strong offensively and carried the intensity throughout the past three months, giving up only one loss in the season to the Five-Continent Leafs.
In the playoffs, they exerted the same dominance. They defeated the Conyers Canucks in the semi-finals and then the Citco Canadians with an 8-5 victory in the final. The team’s leading scorer and game MVP Tynan Klein led with three goals followed by Cameron Bridgeman (2), Adam Stainrod, Daniel Reid and Mark Reid (2).
The Canadians exchanged points with the Sharks throughout the game with a stellar performance by Alex Agemian who scored four goals.
Leon Domladis, the team’s most dominant player throughout the last four games, was held to only one goal in the championship game.
In ritual fashion, the Sharks toppled team goalie Thomas Bishop in celebration after the final buzzer.
Shark’s Tynan Klein said: ‘Our coaches told us that we weren’t invincible before the game and had to work extra hard to win the championships. They gave us good advice and tips on how to win the game.
‘It was great to see players from other teams come out to watch our game. It helps make hockey even more exciting when there are lots of fans screaming and cheering!’
The Unicorns wrapped up their season with a tight game against the 6U Boys Mix-Team. Morgan Brooks, Sarah Jackson and Emily Freeman each scored in the 3-4 loss to the boys.
The girls, having only played two prior games, traded goals with the boys but were unsuccessful in several late game attempts to even the score.
The coaches expressed their sentiments by commending the girls on their hard work and great team spirit both during and after the game.
Singh thanked everyone that supported the league and its players. He said: ‘Support comes in many forms. WestTel and our thirteen corporate team sponsors offer the financial means of operating the league.
‘However, the contributions that the coaches, referees and the members of Cayman youth roller hockey make are the backbone for the league’s success. On behalf of all of the players and fans, thank you for a great ’08.’
King’s Sports Centre has some big plans in store for 2009. As the roller hockey league continues to mature, plans are in the works for further player and league development, including possible travelling teams and international camps.
Singh said: ‘We are going rock out ’09 with some more high energy events. Bring on another historic year!’