U18 Rep | Nov 21, 2023 | Steve McAllister | 601 views
U18 Blizzard are Wingham Regional Silver Stick champions
For the Huron-Bruce Blizzard u18 hockey team, November 2023 will always be a month and year to be remembered.
The Snobelen Farms-sponsored Blizzard went undefeated in five games, including a 2-1 nailbiter over the Arran-Elderslie Ice Dogs in the championship game at the North Huron Wescast Community Complex, to capture the Wingham Regional Silver Stick Championship.
Nelson Helm banged home a rebound to beat Ice Dogs goalie Tyson Laver less than two minutes into the third period to break a 1-1 stalemate, Cade Moffat and Parker Armstrong drawing assists. Huron-Bruce goaltender Tanner Smith, who was outstanding over the entire tourney, stymied the Arran-Elderslie shooters the rest of the way and led the celebration at the final buzzer in front of a big crowd of family and friends cheering on the locals.
The Blizzard found themselves in familiar territory, giving up the game's first goal almost six minutes into the first period. Trace Armstrong evened things in the second period with his first goal of the season, slamming home a rebound during a Huron-Bruce power play. Moffat and captain Justin Rintoul earned assists.
In the Sunday afternoon semifinal, Moffatt drilled a wrist shot off the post and into the net with 2:41 remaining in the first overtime period to lift the Blizzard over league rival and a relentless Walkerton Capitals team 2-1. Moffat's heroics happened shortly after Smith made a clutch save. Maddox Burgess converted a 2-on-1 break with u15 team callup Jared Moffat to give Huron-Bruce the early lead only to have the Capitals draw even six minutes into the second period.
Needing a win Saturday against Essa to leap frog the Eagles into first place in the group and book a semifinal berth, the Blizzard played its most complete game of the season to dismantle their long-time Silver Stick/OMHA archrivals 5-1. Essa grabbed the lead less than two minutes after the opening puck drop only to have Colban Liddle bank a puck into the net off an Eagles defenceman 50 seconds later. After that, it was all Blizzard with second-period goals by Jaden Meyer and Cade Moffat, and third-period markers by Moffat and Burgess - who slid a 175-foot shot into an empty Essa net while killing a 6-on-3 Eagles power play. Jared Moffat, Colton Maki and Carter Snobelen all picked up assists, while Smith delivered solid-as-a-rock netminding once again.
Goals by Burgess - another short-handed one - Helm, and Snobelen (with the game winner in the third) lifted the locals over the Goderich Sailors 3-2 to set up the showdown with Essa. Smith, Helm and Cade Moffat each collected apples.
Cade Moffat knocked home a rebound from a Rintoul point shot with Smith on the bench for an extra attacker and 51 seconds remaining in the game for a 1-1 tie with the Bruce Peninsula Predators to open the tournament.
The Blizzard will proudly represent the Wingham region at the International Silver Stick tournament in Forest, Jan. 5-7.