17U kids challenge older skaters

Youth hockey recently wrapped up its November play.

The Youth Roller Hockey League at Kings Sports Centre played their last games this month and the intensity has picked up in the final stretch of the season.

A highlight was the exhibition match between a select group of 17 and Under players and a group of Adult Roller Hockey League players. The 17U squad, although out-sized, were far from being out-matched taking a 2-0 lead early in the game. After netting a few of their own, the adults were able to take control and produce 5-3 victory. The 17U were tenacious throughout, challenging their bigger opponents on every play. Five 17U players netted points in Jagger Hope (two), Tynan Klein, Alex Agemian, Keegan O’Connor and Michael Matthews (one apiece).

In the Peewee league the Stuarts Panthers added another victory to their tally, locking themselves into the number two seed with their commanding 8-2 victory over the Vampt Oilers. Meanwhile, the KPMG Senators edged the Appleby Sharks 6-5 with the Sharks rallying in the final few minutes in their attempt to equalize the game.

The Atom league saw the number three and four seeds come up with victories. Ernst and Young Eagles dispatched the WestStar Wild 3-1. From there the Eats Blazers and Conyers Canucks battled to a high-scoring 9-8 finish in favour of the Blazers.

Eagles Coach Robin Holmes commented afterwards, “Our whole team came out to play. Everyone skated hard, but the big difference was our goal-tending. Trey Millgate made a couple of key saves early which added to the whole team’s confidence.

“We really shut down their offence in the neutral zone by playing good solid defence, which in turn let us play the majority of the game in their end. Wyatt Hope’s three goals early on helped carry us through for the win. Every once in awhile, the things you work on at practice seems to “click” in a game and this was one of those days that makes a coach happy.”

For Blazers coach Daniel Allard, the victory was about a team effort.

“It was a full team effort,” Allard said. “Our defenders Caitlyn Harrington, Max Hydes, Oliver Bishop and Kyler Doyle made smart decisions with the puck in our own end. Our forwards Kai Robinson-Allard, Justin Hastings, Turner Johnson and Jabari Walrond were able to capitalize on the opportunities that presented themselves in the first half of the game. In the later stages, when they began to apply the pressure, we relied on strong goal-tending thanks to Jayden Mannisto to carry us through to victory.”

In the Novice league, the PWC Lightning defeated the Walkers Blue Iguanas 13-7 and the Dart Ducks won their contest 10-4 over the MaplesFS Jets. The Ducks and Lightning will battle for division supremacy on 3 December.

The January 2012 Learn-to-Skate programme officially kicks off on Saturday, 7 January and this year’s programme is set to be one of the largest yet. The Learn-to-Skate programme is the precursor to the hockey leagues and is the driving force behind the programme’s growth. The league is poised to add two teams per division through 2012, bringing each of the core divisions to six teams.

League games play each Saturday at Kings Sports Centre 7.45am-4.30pm. For more information email [email protected]

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