Coming off the emotional high of their pressure-packed first real game of the tournament victory over the Quebec All-Star girls team before 8,000 fans at the gorgeous Videotron Centre the night before, the New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) might have needed a little time to come up to speed in an exhibition match Saturday afternoon at the Marcel Bedard rink in suburban Beauport. But once they found their legs, the Amerks gave the opposition, the Chaudiere-Etchemin Eclaireurs, all they could handle and then some. What was great for the New York team is that everybody got in on the action. Led by goaltender Gavin Moffatt, the New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) played a complete game in all three zones.
Eclaireurs means scouts in English, and the Scouts from Chaudiere-Etchemin found themselves on the wrong end of a rout as the New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) came to life late in the first period when Beanie Richter, positioned perfectly in the slot, banged home a beautiful pass from defenseman Luke Klemm. It was 1-0 Americans, and less than two minutes later Tatum Fitzmaurice capitalized on a goal mouth scramble to make it 2-0. Young Mr. Fitzmaurice was on his way to a special day.
The New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) found themselves on the powerplay early in the second period and immediately took advantage. Tatum Fitzmaurice made a sharp pass to Tristan Aitkenhead, who deftly tucked in a backhander to give the Amerks a 3-0 lead. Soon, thereafter, Tatum was Johnny-on-the spot again as he blew an unassisted wrister past the Eclaireurs’ goalie. 4-0 Amerks. Then, just before the end of the second period, Fitzmaurice completed a hat trick as he deflected a pretty shot from the point launched by defenseman Owen Kroboth. The second period ended with the New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) out front, 5-0.
Firmly in command, the New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) kept their focus in the final period. Four minutes in, Douglas Messier was right where he needed to be to deflect a shot from Shea Thibault at the point to put the Amerks up 6-0. Two minutes later, Tristan Aitkenhead picked up his second goal of the game, with an assist from James Walker, to complete the scoring at 7-0.
The only question at this point was whether Gavin Moffatt would hang-on for the shutout. But, in fact, there really was no doubt of that either as Moffatt was absolutely on top of his game stopping everything the Eclaireurs could throw at him. He was great with his glove and great with his pads, and, as the final buzzer sounded, the shutout was his as the New York Americans (Pee Wee Rangers AA) skated off with a 7-0 victory.
Next stop, La Cabane Sucre, the Sugar Shack, for some old-time French-Canadian dining, music, and fun.