By Josh Howald
It was a moment these youngsters will never forget, and easily the highlight of the 27th annual Kincardine Regional Silver Stick tournament.
Quinton Page is all smiles after scoring in double overtime of the novice B final at the Kincardine Regional Silver Stick tournament. A disappointed BCH team got something to smile about a short time later, however, when they were also invited to the International Silver Stick later this month. (Josh Howald photo)
Midway through double overtime, Casey Beisel sent a shot at the BCH net. It didn't get through, but the puck bounced to Quinton Page in the low slot. Page made a quick deke and put a backhander home that gave Kincardine a Regional Silver Stick championship and a berth in the International Silver Stick finals. It also ended one of the most exciting novice hockey games you'll ever see, and brought a near capacity crowd at the Davidson Centre to its feet.
"It was awesome," said Page, the overtime hero. His game winner was, in fact, the only goal of the novice B championship game.
But there was no shortage of action. Kincardine and the BCH IceDogs traded chance after chance in this nail biter. It was high risk, high intensity hockey, yet neither team could score. Kincardine's Rowen Cherett and BCH netminder Tyson Durand were both superb, particularly considering the pressure packed situation. Eventually, a puck was going to find its way into a net, and Durand couldn't do much about Page's winner. These players, 7 and 8-years-old, looked like they were ready to skate all day.
"We just told the players to keep going, keep on going," said Kincardine coach Rob Bishop. "We knew BCH has 10 players that like to just go-go-go, and we just told ours to keep working hard and it would pay off. It was a good team effort, all tournament."
Bishop had a hunch his crew might meet BCH before the Silver Stick came to a close. These two teams had met twice previous this season. They played to a 2-2 draw early in the year, followed by a 6-1 BCH victory in tournament action, though Bishop knew his troops did not play well in the affair. Kincardine advanced to the final with a 5-1 win over Twin Centre, while BCH edged out a strong Mitchell team 1-0 in the other semi-final game.
"It was a great championship game, and even though our team came up short in double OT, we know our team left everything they had on the ice, and we're very proud of them," said IceDogs coach Mark Durand.
Fittingly enough, an extra spot at the International Silver had opened up prior the game. Convenor Lyle Brock was doling out the hardware following this one goal thriller when he invited BCH to join the novice Kinucks at the International tournament, which kicks off Jan. 24.
Durand confirmed his team will play in the International finals, and gave a nod to Langendoen Custom Building for sponsoring the team's registration fee and offered a congrats to the Home Hardware novices.
For Kincardine, this was the seventh time in 27 years that the Kinucks claimed the novice B title. Kincardine won it three seasons ago, and before that in 2005. The novices entered the Silver Stick with a 17-5-4 record and the knowledge they would have to beat Mitchell and BCH to move on. Both Page and coach Bishop stressed how well the team played at the tournament, and how the 10 young men and three young ladies put forth a great team effort. And while that was certainly true, it was no secret who had a nose for the net.
Page scored nine times in four games, including a hat trick against against rival Mitchell. He had one in the tourney opener, a 2-1 win over Walkerton. Nathan Arnold had the other tally. Brandon Bishop completed the scoring in a 4-2 win over Mitchell, while Arnold, Jared Houghton and Jorja Scott earning assists. Nolan James complemented Page's hatty with his first goal of the season in a 4-2 win over Ayr in the final preliminary round game. He also had an assist, as did Bishop, Dylan Chinnick and Graeden Colhoun. Beisel had good timing, scoring her first and second goals of the year in a 5-1 semi-final victory over Twin Centre. Page also had one, as did Tyler Johns and Bishop. Colhoun and Jesse Page each had two assists for Kincardine, with Beisel and Page each adding one.
Rowen Cherret posted a shutout in the novice B final for the Kincardine novices. Cherret and Kwade Beisel were solid in goal for Kincardine all tournament long. (Josh Howald photo)
Cherett and Kwade Beisel did an excellent job of keeping pucks out of the Kincardine net. Not on the score sheet but making valuable contributions were Gavin Beaty and Dayle Chinnick.
The novices were the only local team to advance to Monday's championship games. The Tim-BR Mart bantams won three straight round robin games only to lose to rival Tavistock in a semi-final contest. Tavistock was then defeated 3-1 in the bantam B final by Listowel. Listowel also claimed the peewee B title, edging out Mitchell 3-2 in the championship game. South-Bruce, the newly amalgamated Teeswater and Mildmay minor hockey systems, also won two titles. The peewees were never challenged, and beat Minto 3-0 in the C final, while the bantams hammered Flesherton 5-1 in the bantam C final.
"A big congrats to the Kincardine novices," said Brock, who has organized the Silver Stick for three years now. "Thank you to my head convenors at each arena, and a big thanks to all our sponsors once again. All support has been greatly appreciated."