“HEART over want” was a theme for the
Cambridge Major Bantam A Hawks as they earned the most prestigious honour of
being crowned International Silver Stick Champions in Port Huron, Michigan this
past weekend. While many can say they
“want” the title only a few have the “heart” to go out and take it. Up against some stiff competition the Hawks
battled though injuries and kept their sights set on their end goal – a Silver
Stick Championship title.
In game one, the Hawks dropped a 3-1 decision to a strong team from Owen Sound. It was after this game that the Hawks decided it was their time to take a step forward and get after their title. Games two and three saw the Hawks dominate against opponents from Lancaster, PA and Nickel City, ON. The quarter final saw the Hawks up against a strong Oakville team in which the Hawks played very well and earned themselves a trip to the semi-final.
The semi-final game was definitely the hardest fought game amongst them all. The Hawks faced their cross town rivals, the Hespeler Shamrocks. From the drop of the puck you could see that the Shamrocks were intent on beating the Hawks and sending them back to Cambridge. The game proved to be a tight end to end battle with neither team giving away much to their opponent. Hawks goaltender Carter Rawn, playing through an injury, made many heroic saves to help force the game to overtime. It was in double overtime when the Hawks’ captain, Owen Ireton, sprung free from his own blue line and buried a breakaway shot to send the Hawks to the final. For many of the Hawks it was a bitter sweet ending to a great hockey game. There were many friendships that were put on hold by a number of the parents, coaching staff and players for this game and after the game the respect for each other was very evident.
Tired and emotionally drained after the semi-final, the Hawks regrouped to face the same team they dropped their only loss of the tournament to – Owen Sound. Expecting to see a bit of a slower pace as the Hawks played into a double overtime game only hours before, the Hawks came out flying! The players showed some great character and were not going to let their title slip away. Skating to a 5-2 victory over Owen Sound the players finally achieved their goal of being Silver Stick Champions!! At the conclusion of the game the tournament all-star team was announced. Goaltender Danny Rose, defenseman Josh Borges and left winger Owen Ireton were all selected as tournament all-stars. Cambridge’s Owen Ireton was also selected as the tournament MVP – great job boys!
Over the course of the weekend it was quite evident as to why the Silver Stick was such a prestigious tournament. The facilities, the opening ceremonies, the final game and most importantly – the people / volunteers were top notch. It was definitely an honour to walk away with the title and I am certain that Cambridge Minor Hockey and the city of Cambridge were well represented by these players and would be very proud of them. Well done Hawks!