Last night the Junior Canes played in round three of the Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament. Our opponent was the Moncton Wildcats. The Wildcats had beaten the Atlanta Fire to advance to the third round. Atlanta has always been a tough opponent for the Junior Hurricanes, so we expected a tough game.
|Paul Strand |
Our preparation for the games has been very good for this tournament. Le Colisee is an intimidating place, so we put some structure into our pre-game once we get into the dressing room this year in order to get the team focused. They get the heavy jackets and boots off and into their warm up clothes and shoes. Coach Mehm gives them 15 minutes to get their sticks worked on and then does a warm up with them under Le Colisee.
Yesterday we added some music. Some fans of the Hurricanes might remember some of the choices - "The Rising" by Bruce Springsteen, "It’s a Long Way to the Top" by AC/DC and "All These Things That I've Done" by the Killers heard prior to the Hurricanes games. The CanesVision crew has some great sense of musical taste to get hockey players and fans going.
You could feel the tension as the team started playing. The games always get tougher and the nerves get to players the further a team goes into the tournament. It is tough on adults let alone the 11 and 12 year old players. The game started that way. This year’s teams have been dominating from the start, but tonight we got off to a slow start on the scoreboard. This was something the kids were not used to.
So the tension started to build. The chances were coming, but no goals. You could just feel it on the bench as we approached the six minute mark. It may sound strange, but in this tournament good teams have lost because of a very good goalie and letting teams hang around too long. The tension starts to build and 11 and 12 year old kids begin to get really frustrated and next thing you know you are out of the tournament.
For us, we did not now how we would react. Then, Tanner Siemens let a puck fly from the point - a beautiful slap shot that sailed hard to the back of the net. Tanner is a huge kid with an NHL shot, and this shot shook the twine behind the goalie. The piano was off the back and the doors opened.
The Junior Canes followed with two more goals in the first period. Nicholas Hale took a nice pass from Riley Stillman and Mitchell Glabicki fired another one from the point for his first of the tournament.
End of the first period: Jr. Canes 3, Moncton 0
In the second period we just kept coming. Kyle Moore took a beautiful pass from Hale who was behind the net and rimmed it off the post. Then Nicholas Wildgoose finally put one in. Goose has led the tournament in chances and this time he stuffed in a rebound from Brandon Osmundson for his first. Goose leads the B division in points right now with 6 in three games.
End of the second period: Jr. Canes 5, Moncton 0
In the third we kept up the pressure, but now we also worried the kids would start to feel this would happen all the time. The teams remaining will be tough and we still do not want our kids to get too confident. We tried pulling the reigns in a bit, but our kids are scoring at will right now, which is also a good thing.
Kyle Moore added his second of the night on a power play. Colby Pederson beat the tender on a nice shot low to the far corner on a two-on-one with Hale, and Brandon Osmundson tapped one in to finish out the scoring.
Both goaltenders had a hand in the shutout as Britt League started the game and Josh Greune came in for the third and stopped a beautiful shot by Moncton.
Final: Jr. Canes 8, Moncton 0
Next up for the Junior Canes is the 2009 B division champions the Colorado Avalanche. This year's Avalanche team is from Boulder Colorado.
Vive le Pee-wee Du Carnival!