Saturday afternoon the Junior Islanders officially opened the 53rd Quebec Pee Wee Hockey Tournament at the Colisee Pepsi against the Slovakia K B All Stars. In front of a massive crowd of more than 6,000 spectators, the Jr. Islanders picked up a giant victory, 7-1.
Early on, it was actually a nerve-wracking game as Slovakia jumped out to a 1-0 lead only 52 seconds into the first period. The Jr. Islanders tilted the ice for the rest of the period though and finished with a 15-4 shots on goal advantage.
After keeping the pressure on throughout the first half of the game, the Jr. Islanders finally broke through when Michael Muschitiello tied the game late in the 2nd period, scoring at 9:07 off a couple pretty passes by Scott Osani and Johnny Barbieri.
From there, it was clear the Isles had worn down the K B All-Stars. Their control of the game finally started to show on the scoreboard in the final frame.
Much like their exhibition game, the Jr. Isles spread the scoring throughout their lines and blueliners.
Captain Chris Garbe (1g/2a), forward Daniel Kramer (2g/1a) and defenseman Austin Acosta (0g/3a) all registered a team-leading three points, while Thomas Finck (1g/1a) and Julian Coleman (0g/2a) also enjoyed multi-point third periods.
Johnny Barbieri netted two in the six-goal stanza to go along with his first-period assist and Assistant Captain Tyce Thompson and Anthony Demeo each tallied an assist for the Jr. Isles.
It was a very exciting way to open the tournament with a raucous crowd and the six-goal finish. Sat. evening, the players, their families and their billet (host) families all attended the last night of “Carnivale d’Hiver” – Quebec City's Winter Carnival. There is a huge parade that winds through the streets of Old Quebec with lots of activities for the kids.
The festivity and energy could be felt throughout the entire city with such special attractions as Ice Slides, skating rinks and outdoor ice bars. It was pretty cold in Quebec Sat. night – the wind chill brought temperatures down to about five-below zero on the Fahrenheit scale. With so much fun and excitement in the air, the players and their families truly were not feeling the cold like they may have any other day.
Sunday morning, the players took part in their own little mini “Winter Classic” and skated outside bright and early at 9:30 a.m. It was fun... Cold, but fun!