The New York Pee Wee Rangers combined gritty, opportunistic play with superb goaltending from Spencer Knight to ride to a 2-1 victory in an elimination game against the Minuteman Flames from Boston, a team many regarded as the best in the Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament
Knight stood tall throughout facing a barrage of 37 shots including a hailstorm of 20 in the third period in a well-attended 8:00 am matchup.
After a scoreless first period, the speed and talent of the Pee Wee Rangers started to take over. At 5:44 of the second period Arthur Kaliyev notched his third goal of the tournament, banging home a rebound in the front of the net. A Flames penalty 18 seconds later put the Rangers on the power play, and the New Yorkers made the most of it with a huge goal by Briggs Gammill. Deep in the New York zone Cooper Moore made a pass to Blake Swiggett, who headmanned the puck to CK Giancola. CK spotted Briggs coming through the neutral zone, hit him with a flip pass, and Briggs wired a bullet from the left wing side to the top shelf of the Boston net.
As the third period got underway, there was no doubt that the Minuteman Flames were going to attack with all their weapons including the ever-dangerous Patrick Moynihan. But the Pee Wee Rangers withstood the onslaught, blocking shots fearlessly at every opportunity. With 3:35 left in the third period a Flames power play goal finally squeaked past Spencer Knight on a deflection. But Knight and the Pee Wee Rangers defencemen – Cooper Moore, Ryan Pineault, Griffin Grise, Will Gilson, Dom Fensore, and Garrett Sundquist – never flinched as the remaining minutes and seconds ticked down.
The game was a true classic that left the Rangers elated and the Boston club heartbroken. Alternate captain Ryan Pineault summed it all up: “I think we played with unbelievable heart. From the ice to the bench to our parents and fans in the stands, we had a passion that was not going to let us down.”
Next up, the Pee Wee Rangers face off against the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins from British Columbia, 4:45 pm, Friday, February 21 at Le Colisee.