Hawks run table at tourney
With solid play from everyone on the roster, the Neebing Hawks were going to be a tough team to beat no matter who faced in the final of the 12-team FFMHA Bantam ‘A’ tournament over the weekend.
And while the Kenora Forest Flyers put up a valiant effort, they were no match for the Lakehead squad as the Hawks cruised to a 5-0 win Sunday afternoon to capture the gold medal.
“Something that we have been telling the guys is to just keep playing hard and strong defensively, and they have been playing the way that we want them to,” he added.
“We’ve been playing really well in our own end, and now we are starting to get the offence going now and we are able to get some goals.”
Although it took them a while to break down the Flyers, a three-goal third period sealed the title for the Hawks, who finished with a perfect 5-0 record.
“They were a good team to go up against in the final,” Caul said of the Flyers.
“I think us having a bit of a bigger bench than Kenora might have been a big factor [because] when you have to play a semi-final and a final game in a couple of hours or so, you are going to start to get tired,” he reasoned.
“But we are a good team that has been practising hard and playing well lately, and I think when it came down to it, we just wanted it more,” Caul added.
Tyler Teepell led the Hawks with two goals and an assist, with Steve Duddle, Samuel Wegher, and Tyler Morhing also scoring.
At the other end of the rink, Hawks’ goalie Landon Newman turned aside every shot he faced to earn the shutout.
“He’s playing really well in the last few games, and I think he has three shutout in his last five starts,” Caul noted.
“He’s really improved since the start of the [season], and the team in front of him has also really been helping him out.”
The most dramatic of the three finals Sunday occurred in the ‘B’ side as the Fort Frances Kennedy K9’s edged the Emo Express 3-2 in a shootout.
The hero was K9’s goalie Jacob Glowasky, who withstood a barrage of shots in the extra frame and then made a diving stick save on a backhanded spin move by Chandler Medicine during the shootout.
“I really don’t know how I made that save in the shootout,” admitted Glowasky.
“I was really worried in the overtime that they were going to score on me, but when I got into the shootout, I got way more worried,” the 13-year-old added.
“We felt that we weren’t going to get so lucky, but we actually won it in the end.”
Tanner Angus netted the winning goal in the shootout, with Joshua Kraynyk and Christian Audette finding the back of the net in regulation time.
Tyler Hamm and Elijah Indian replied for the Express.
The shootout triumph for the K9’s was their second-straight dramatic victory. Landon Woods scored the winning goal in overtime to give his team a 5-4 win over the Fort Frances Holmund’s Leafs in the semi-finals.
“We just tell the kids to go out and play hard,” said head coach Dave Taggart. “And when you get into games like the ones we had this weekend, they are just ready to go.
“However, it does put some pressure on the coaches who have to sit there and watch it, though,” he smiled.
In the ‘C’ side final earlier Sunday, Fort Frances Canadian Tire romped to a 12-1 victory over the Dryden Kings.
“The boys just really came to play in the last two games, and I think they just woke up,” noted head coach Keith Knapp.
“If they had played like they did at the end of the tournament at the start, we might have found ourselves in the ‘A’ final as we have a pretty good team here this year,” he added.
“But that is the way that hockey goes sometimes.”
Chase McGuire and Dylon Woosley both notched hat tricks in the victory while Kyle Knapp added a pair of goals.
Wyatt McLeod, Damon Smith, Izzy Smith, and Kenton Bowles also scored for Canadian Tire.