Atom Minor Storm Silver Stick Finalists, News, Minor Atom, 2015-2016 (Erie North Shore Minor Hockey)

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Atom Minor Storm Silver Stick Finalists
Submitted By Jim Batke on Monday, October 26, 2015
The Atom Minor Storm travelled to Woodstock this past weekend to compete in a regional SilverStick tournament. 

On their first game on Saturday morning, the Storm would face the home town Woodstock Jr. Navy Vets in a thrilling matchup. The game was full of scoring chances at both ends of the ice with our goalie Gannon Hunter standing tall until early in the second period when the home team struck first. The Erie North Shore gang kept pressing and were finally rewarded with just over two minutes remaining when Ashton Sim poked in a rebound from Ben Buchner to tie the game. This led to a 4 on 4, five minute overtime session where it did not take long for the Storm to complete the comeback with Elijah Pezzotti making a great move in tight off a Buchner rebound to propel them to a 2-1 overtime victory. In the second game on Saturday, the Storm would face the Sarnia Jr. Sting and came out flying, scoring on the first and third shifts of the game. Buchner pumped the first one, unassisted, then Neil Adams fired one low glove side on a great feed from Brock Bezaire on a play started by Hayden Nurse. However, the Sting would buzz right back on the next shift and then added another by the end of the first period to tie the game at two. That would be all that Storm goalie Easton Jacobs would allow, as he shut the door the rest of the way and Buchner completed his hattie with tallies in the second and third periods to seal the victory. Sim and Sage Batke would be the setup men for the goals enroute to a 4-2 win. In the third game of the day, the opponent would be the Burlington Eagles where another scoring frenzy in the first period would occur. Pezzotti struck first on a feed from Nevan Branco and Noah Dufour. Then Buchner scored an unassisted goal to go up two. The Eagles would respond with two goals by the end of the first period, sandwiched by a goal from Batke on a pass from Buchner, also assisted by Sim. The one goal lead would soon increase to three as Batke would poke in a Sim rebound and then another finished off by Reyth Smith from Pezzotti. The Storm defensive corps of Tommy Coughlin, Marshall Champeau, Ava Merritt with Dufour and Nurse, would shut down the Eagles for the last two periods. A 5-2 victory to finish the day unbeaten in their pool, leading to a semi-final matchup against their Blue Water League rivals from Southpoint. After a well deserved good nights’ sleep, the Storm again came out shooting as Pezzotti and Buchner buried goals on consecutive shifts early in the first period. The first one on great passing from Branco and Nurse, the second on feeds from Sim and Batke, to jump out to an early two goal lead. Branco then scored on a breakaway deke, setup by Pezzotti and Smith to put the Storm up 3-0 after the second. The Capitals would pop one early in the third and apply all sorts of pressure for most of the final period, until Smith picked up a loose puck and outworked two Southpoint defenders to add a much needed insurance marker. A 4-1 win sent the Storm into the championship game, a rematch with the home town Woodstock squad. Similar to the first meeting, both teams had early chances, but the goalies pushed all shots aside, especially the Erie North Shore tender, Hunter. Then, on the first shift of the second period, Branco put one home on a great back and forth passing play by the goal scorer and Pezzotti. The Jr. Navy Vets would tie the game by the end of the second stanza, setting the stage for an exciting finish. Mid-way through the third period, Pezzotti picked off a pass in the slot and was chopped down going hard to the net with the puck, but the determined Storm centreman would fire the puck through the five hole, while lying flat on the ice. The Storm now had a one goal lead and the championship in their sights. However, after killing off a penalty, the Storm could not clear the puck and the Jr. Navy Vets would tie the game with only 1:08 on the clock. With no more scoring in the third, the game again went to overtime between these very evenly matched teams. Scoring chances at both ends would be traded in the 4 on 4, ten minute session, with both teams playing hard, until a questionable penalty call against the Storm would put the home team on the power play. It did not take long for the Woodstock Jr. Navy Vets to claim victory, scoring 23 seconds into the power play, defeating the Erie North Shore Minor Atom Storm 3-2 with under three minutes remaining in overtime. Although, it was a heart breaking loss, the team’s first of the season, the team should be proud of themselves for a great effort.

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