The New York Rangers' trip to the group of eight undefeated teams in the Quebec International PeeWee Tournament produced an exciting two and a half periods, mainly with the lead, but a fierce comeback by Detroit Honeybaked late in the game resulted in their 6-3 win Friday February 17.
The Rangers handed Honeybaked more than they bargained for through most of the game with leads of 1-0 and 2-1 at the end of the first two periods. Then the Detroit team racked up the tying goal in the first minute of the third period but, as they had done the entire game, New York bounced right back. Connor Welshtallied a goal, assisted by Devin Kaplan, to pop in front again, 3-2, in the opening three minutes of the third period.
Like he had done the entire game, Gavin Moffatt was making huge plays in the net in the third period, and appreciated Dante DeBueriis' and Jack Kugler's support in front of the goal, swatting away potential goals in the first half of the third period. The Rangers kept denying Honeybaked's attack with sharp fore-checking and then had a successful penalty kill.
Then Honeybaked exploded at the midway point on the third for four straight goals. A steal and break-away tied the score at 3-3with 9:01 played. The Detroit team was just getting started, with full ice pressure on the Rangers. Honeybaked never led inthe game until two scores came off steals and one-on-one goals, then had a lucky deflection to take off on a break-away for a power play goal. The score was 6-3 and way too much to overcome.
The third period saw Honeybaked score five of its six goals, with four coming in the last six minutes of the game.
It was a different story early in the game. The Rangers did not get off their first shot on goal for the first eight minutes, but held off the fierce attack by Detroit. They had a successful penalty kill, and Moffatt was taking shots off the mask, gloving and swatting away before Kaplan rocketed in a goal from 15 feet out - BOOM. The assist came from Beanie Richter.
In spite of Honeybaked's constant pressure and intensive shot attacks on Moffatt, the Rangers held onto the 1-0 lead until Honeybaked went top shelf for its first score early in second period. The Rangers' strong internal passes and near-goals cashed in for a 2-1 lead when Kaplan scored, assisted by Eddie Romano.
Then came the period the Rangers would like to forget, as Honeybaked displayed why it is a favorite to win the prestigious tournament.
The Rangers certainly celebrated plenty of success in the tournament. The team won its four Showcase games and first two bracket games against Whitby and Anaheim Junior Ducks, and had four shutouts prior to the tournament-ending loss to Honeybaked.