2018 Fort Erie Winter Challenge Champions!, News (Oakridge Aeros Minor Hockey)

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2017-2018 MD - Novice 3 - 2018 Fort Erie Winter Challenge Champions!
Submitted By Scott Wain on Tuesday, January 09, 2018
The coaches and parents couldn't be more proud of how the team represented Oakridge in Fort Erie this past weekend.

Going into the tournament we knew we'd face some of our toughest competition playing against some very strong and BIG Novice AE teams from around Ontario.  

Our first opponent...

was a very well coached, big, strong and fast team from Belle River. The Jr. Canadiens pushed our team throughout the entire game. However, our continuous pressure created many turnovers which in the end proved to be a little too much for the Habs.  The team earned their first win of the tourney by the score of 4 - 1.  

Later that day we were set to play another strong team that also won their first game earlier that morning.  The Centre Wellington Fusion were caught by surprise when we opened the scoring early in the game.  Like our first game, the team was 'possessed'. Most of the game was spent in the offensive zone giving the Fusion very little opportunity to get much going.  The team performed exceptionally well to earn an impressive 7 - 0 victory. 

For the Aeros, day 1 was in the books. All that was left to do was to cheer on Team Canada Juniors for GOLD and rest up for day 2.  

With only 1 game on the schedule for Saturday we were set to face off against what turned out to be our most resilient battle of the season against the Dunnville Mudcats.  The Aeros unfortunately gave up 2 very quick goals within the first 90 seconds of the game.  Being down 3 - 1, we made some defensive adjustments and the comeback was staged.  The team finally shook off the nerves and started to play our brand of hockey. We were lucky enough to score 2 short handed goals on the same penalty kill to tie things up 3 - 3.  From there the team took over and finished strong with a final score of 7 - 4.  

The 3 - 0 start in the round robin earned the team first place going into Sunday.  The semi finals were set and the Aeros were going to be in tough having to beat the Jr. Canadiens of Belle River for the 2nd time in the same weekend.  We couldn't have asked for a better start getting up 2 - 0 very early in the frame.  There was no quit in the Jr. Canadians as the Aeros faced a relentless attack for nearly the entire 2nd and 3rd period. With only a couple minutes left, the Aeros were trying to hold onto the 4 - 3 lead as Belle River had the net empty with an extra attacker.  We missed a close chance to finish them off with the empty net goal. From there, they moved the puck back into our end with only seconds left on the clock. With an incredible toe save as time expired, we were moving on to the finals! 

Sunday afternoon was upon us.  We were set to face off against the only other undefeated team of the tournament.  The Orillia Terriers were fired up and ready to take us on.  However, right off the opening draw, we won it back and 12 seconds into the game, we were up 1 - 0.  The Terriers continued to struggle under our furious puck pressure. The Aeros were playing some incredible team hockey and it didn't disappoint. At the buzzer, the celebration on the ice began with a final score of 5 - 2.  

For the 2nd time this season our little Aeros were crowned tournament champions!  Congratulations to the team for what was one of the most exciting hockey weekends ever!  Great work!  

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