Sorry it took so long.  I just had the most bizzare 2 weeks at work ever. 

So we settled for Silver.  Not bad fellas.  I took more than a few pictues.  I’ll let them tell the story. (The plus key will move through them more quickly).

Speaking of pictures, when I have some time, I’ll post a link to one file for each player so you can get access to any of the pictures I have taken over the season.  Its been a pleasure writing for this little site.  See you all at the rink!

The scene was set. Gibby’s PeeWees found themselves still alive on Sunday morning. They had an opponent that had beaten them handily, but they knew were vulnerable. But the mountain was high. Their Titan practice partners points meant that they could only make the finals with a sweep. And the Bears on the next rink over had to score 1.5 points or less. We would lose in any tie break scenario, so we had to win all three periods.

AJ started the game. If it were to be our last of the season they would split the game. Again the Defense was up to the task. They limited the ‘Pack to 4 shots in the first period. But we took some time to get our offense unhinged. Dave, Austin and Neil all missed the net early. Then with 6:50 left in the first, Ryan went all the way with one. He leaned to the left and shot right. Chris M. crashed the weak side post which moved the goalie.

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Ryan’s 1st with Chris Crashing

1-0 Titans. 2 minutes later Richie drove the zone and shot. Dave was crashing Goal. Richie was kind enough to clarify the confusion and gave Dave the goal. Then, on their next shift they did it again. This time Richie unassisted.

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Rich celebrates

3-0 Titans with just 51 seconds to go in the first. The first period buzzer gave us 3 points and our first big lead of the tournament.

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AJ Shuts them Down

Now the second period came and we were still pressing. But we had 3 penalties and AJ would earn his stripes by stopping all 8 Woodbridge shots. Frank scored at the 12:55 mark, a hard wrister from the left point, over the goalies shoulder. The scoreboard said 3-0, but for the period it was still 1-0. The tension did not wane until the period ended with points 3 and 4 in the books with the period win. At this point coach told Chris that AJ would finish and he would play the final. The Bears had only earned 1 point. We only had to win one more period. But we had to win it. A tie was a loss.

The Wolfpack helped us, by picking up a few penalties. Billy captialized on a pretty goal in front with 12:44 left to go. But on their second penalty an errant D pass led to an odd man rush. AJ had no chance, and with just 9:46 to play we were losing even though the scoreboard read 4-1.

Coach kept reminding the boys “Its 1-1”. Timmy moved up and played a few shifts at winger. Coach shortened the bench for one of the few times this year. But the clock wound down. We kept shooting. Their second goalie was better than their first. He stopped shots. Coach said over and over “use the body and shoot at the net”. They did.

Then with 2:36 to play Ryan again. From his defensive position, he rushed the puck, took the shot and the crowd erupted.

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 Game Winner!

The defense stayed solid, and did not let up another shot, holding them to an incredible 3 shots for the period. One of the most satiisfying, exciting 5-1 games you will get to watch. Good job, boys!

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 CELEBRATE!

If you want to watch an interesting hockey movie “In the Crease” is the story of the California Wave’s quest for a USA Hockey national title. The movie bears the name of a controversial goal they meet along their journey. On Saturday, in the second round of the Wall Tournament our PeeWees scored some critical points in losing to the Bedford Bears. The first period went to the Titans 1-0 after Ryan took a pass from Billy to capitalize on a powerplay caused by a Bears roughing call. Chris made 11 saves in that first period, earning 2 points for the team. The second period looked to go the same way. The defense limited the shots to 6, which Chris stopped, and we spent 6 minutes on the power play. With 7:32 to go in the period, it looked like we had another power play goal. There was a scrum in front, stripes pointed to the net, and then waved it off, as we had a player with 2 feet in the crease. An odd call in PeeWees, especially when there appeared to be no interference with the goalie, but you can’t change the call, and he was in the crease (picture to follow). The period ended in a 0-0 tie, and we had another point.

The 3rd period saw a breakdown in discipline on the Titan side. 6 penalties, including some to our top scorers kept us on our heels offensively. We wound up killing two 5-on-3 situations, but 3 Bear goals in the first 5 minutes of the first period left us down 3-1. With the clock winding down, Ryan took it coast to coast, flipped it over the goalie and brought us to within 1 with 3:27 to work with . Finally our penalties got to us. We missed the opportunity to tie it, when Ryan got caught out of position, and scrambled back to stop the breakaway with a trip. Timmy followed him into the sin bin a few seconds later. After Ryan’s penalty was just over, they scored with 1:00 to go. The Bears had sealed the win, but the Titans came away with 3 points that would prove invaluable as the weekend unfolded. We went to bed Saturday with little hope of an afternoon game Sunday, but thought we might end the season against Woodbridge, a team with whom we had a score to settle. We had lost to them 6-2 earlier in the year, and they cancelled our home date with them. It would be a game to remember.

Editors note: With a busy work week and no more hockey to cover for our team, the reporting on this last weekend may drag a little….savor it slowly.

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2 feet clearly in the crease

You may have noticed the lack of crutches and a return to the bench for Andrew this week.  He went to the surgeon Thursday and got an excellent report.  His recovery is ahead of schedule.  He hopes to return to the ice in early May, and can attend camps in the summer.  If he continues to progress as he has, he will have a normal 2nd year of PeeWees.   A good part of his speedy recovery, apart from his youth has been his good spirits and determination to return to the game he loves.  He continues to work hard at his rehab, but he has also benefitted tremendously by his continued support of his friends and teammates.  They have kept him included in the team, the locker room activities and everything else.  We wanted to thank you all again for your support, the generous baskets and gifts, and the concern of the team parents, manager and coaches.  Bad things happen sometimes, but with good support you can come away better for the experience. 

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Thanks again, 

-Vinnie, Denise and Andrew

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Can we get started already? 

The Peewees got a late start last night.  First the Nassau team got caught in traffic for an earlier Bantam game, and then the Zam needed new propane tanks and water, leaving our game almost an hour delayed.  But that was true for both squads.  The true late start came after the drop of the puck.  The Mariners had 2 fast skaters who diid not wait for the Titans to wake up.  #9 put away 2 first period goals.  But they were undisciplined as well and took penalties. Their second, a bad slash of Austin led to Timmy scoring unassited on the powerplay and then on even strength to tie it late in the first 2-2.  But a late breakdown let #11 break out.  AJ stopped his first effort, but the resulting scrum in front made it 3-2 with just 15 seconds in the first.

As the second period moved along we lost some of our discipline and took 5 penalties.  This hampered the offense and  we put only 7 shots on net.   They made AJ stand on his head more than once.  The defense helped this period by getting back better, and other than an early goal on a breakaway, the period ended 1-0 Mariners.

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AJ poised to make the first stop

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Billy and Timmy take away the second opportunity

Starting the third period we were not quite in synch.  They kept getting penalties, but had enough time at full strength to score on 2 goals that were not AJ’s fault.  First we failed to take the body in the D zone and let them survive 2 good saves to trickle one in.  Then they beat us badly off the draw, so at 12:13 of the third we were down 6-2.   And then we woke up.  We hit and hit and hit and their best skater, Umbro (#9) spent 6 minutes in the sin bin because he could not take the hitting without returning a penalty.  We got shots on net.  Now Kauffman, #56 was not very fast but was huge.  Our guys were not afraid to move him out of the slot where he parked on both defense and offense.

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Who is that under #56?

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Oh, Nick K. Good job Nick!

 Chris M got in a few hits and then Ryan carried one in and we had life at 6-3.  Tyler’s goal at 7:04 made it closer 6-4 and they were on their heels.  We kept up the pressure the rest of the way, but could not get one by their keeper.  The 3rd period ended in a tie.  A point earned, but while they ended strongly near 11:00PM, the boys knew they could have had more in this one if they had started earlier. 

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Tyler is stopped on his attempt at his second goal late in the third.  While Kauffman is a screen for his goalie, he also is tough to shoot around

Last time around it was a big victory for the Peewees  : Check out the video…

http://animoto.com/play/jkkV13aSFz7L3EicWD6KVw

or version2 

http://animoto.com/play/1ef9A3yzW1BqjvNxcZkReg

This tournament is shaping up to be an interesting one.  We have 4 other teams in our division.  Some unknown, some well known, and one we obviously know very well.  The opening salvo appears to be a good opportunity to get on the board.  In a tough PW division of the Hudson Valley league the Westchester Mariners are at the bottom of their division.  They play their home games at Rye Playland and EJ Murray’s Rink, and were also known as the Rye Mariners.  They don’t post much about their team on-line and from my current location I could not reach anyone at the club for some insight, but they did not have a very good year.  The Bears on the other hand were 11-3 in the league and will be a tough group to match up with.  They have to be considered a pre-tournament finalist contender.  Woodbridge should be a good game.  We have wanted this team since early in the year when they beat us.  Despite our better skating, we did not play up to our potential.  It will be a good test of how we have grown and possibly a chance to “play-in” to a spot in the finals.  A likely opponent in that final spot is our own practice partners, the ’95 team.  What a dream ending to beat them in an upset special!  Of course you have to take one game at a time, and earn your way to a final spot.   Either way, it should make for a fun weekend.  Enjoy Peewees! 

Interesting side note.  I’m in Hong Kong, far from hockey, but on the local Chinese television station there is a repeat of last year’s european hockey league champoiships on each morning at 5AM.  Listening to the audio in Chinese is a hoot! Like in the US, they never stop talking.