Successful Beginning For Piper Hockey
Aftera 1-5 record in exhibition games at the beginning of the year no one was expecting the young inexperienced Senior Boy’s hockey team at Alexander Galt to win many games this year. However the young Pipers have surprised a few teams this past week by recording three wins to officially open the high school hockey season.
The Pipers opened their ETIAC season at home last Tuesday when they hosted the Stanstead College Spartans. The Spartans defeated the Pipers a week earlier in exhibition play 5-4 so they seemed to be the favorite. A pair of rookies got the Pipers on the board first when Anthony Gosselin set up Hunter Haskell in the slot. As the goal was being announced Yuhi Yoshikawa from the Spartans replied 12 seconds later to even things up at one after the first period. Piper Captain Chris Boucher set up another rookie; Sam Chernis at the side of the net to give the boys from Galt a 2-1 lead after 30 minutes of play.
Anthony Johnson scored early in the third period after taking a nice feed from Nick Samson and buried it behind the Spartan net minder to give the Pipers a 3-1 lead. Defenseman Sam Dubois picked up the other assist on the goal. However the Spartans showed a lot of poise as Kyle Home scored two goals within three minutes to ties things up once again. The two teams seemed to open things up the rest of game as they moved the puck up and down the ice quickly and created many scoring chances. Johnson sent Samson in on a breakaway midway through the final frame and the strong power forward snapped it in the back of the net. Once again the Spartans tied the game with five minutes left to play as Yoshikawa netted his second goal of the game. Jared Chute finished off a nice breakout play by the Pipers with 1:35 remaining in the game by rifling a shot just under the cross bar to give the Pipers a 5-4 lead. Johnson sealed the Piper victory when Boucher fed him a nice pass and he scored into the empty net, but not before Samson blocked a crucial shot from the point. Goaltender Liam Dougherty looked good as he kicked a side 26 Spartan shots to pick up the win. Galt Tournament: The Pipers hosted their 43rd Annual Invitational Hockey tournament this past weekend and looked to win it for the fourth time. Their hopes
of winning it did not last very long as they lost their opening game 3-1 to College Brebeuf. Johnson was the lone Piper marksmen after stole the puck at the blue line and deaked the goalie with a nifty shorthanded marker. Dougherty was named the player of the game as he saved 33 of 36 shots he faced.
In game two the Pipers squared off against their archrival from the ETIAC; the Massey-Vanier Vikings from Cowansville. The Vikings had defeated the Pipers a week earlier 2-0 so the Pipers looked to even the score. Jerome Coupal got the Vikings going in the first period after he walked out from the boards a picked the corner on the short side. Chernis finished off a nice passing play between Johnson and Chute at 4:12 of the first period to even things up at one a piece. Coupal put the Vikings in front again with two minutes play in the second period with a nice slap shot from the point.
The Pipers took advantage of a Viking penalty late in the second period to score early in the third period as Johnson put on a toe-drag demonstration by going around three Viking defenders before burying it top corner. The goal seemed to give the Pipers momentum throughout the period as Chute won a critical face-off back to rookie defenseman Noah Trevail and he drilled a slap shot top corner from the blue line with 1:26 remaining to give the Pipers a 3-2. The Vikings looked to pull the goalie in favour of an extra attacker, but Johnson ended the plan when he stole the puck from a Viking defender and put a fancy move on the goalie to solidify a 4-2 Piper victory and a trip to the bronze medal game. Rookie goalie Jordan Lister picked up his first win as a Piper and Johnson was named player of the game. Lister is the first player to come out of the new hockey concentration program at Galt to make the team.
The Pipers faced off against the Selwyn House Gryphons from Westmount in the bronze medal game and got off to a poor start as they found themselves down 2-0 after seven minutes of play and no intensity. However the power play unit ignited the offence when rookie defenseman Anthony Quirion’s wrist shot found the back of the net as Boucher and Chute picked up the assists. Seconds later Chernis picked off a neutral zone pass and walked in and picked the corner to even the score 2-2 after 15 minutes of play. The Gryphon’s scored the go ahead goal late in the second period, but Chute sent Johnson in alone on another break away and the sniper made no mistake to tie the game up again. Boucher gave the Pipers their first lead of the game at 10:45 after he took advantage of an odd bounce off the glass and slid the puck past the sprawling net minder. However the Gryphon’s tied it up two minutes later that sent the game to 3 on 3 overtime.
Both teams exchanged a few scoring chances, but the goalies made outstanding saves each time. Chute used his speed to draw a tripping penalty and the Pipers called time out to set up the 4 on 3 power play. Quirion and Chute passed the puck around and set up Johnson who played hero again as his slap shot beat a screened Gryphon net minder and the bench erupted to celebrate the victory. Chute and Boucher took home player of the game honours while Johnson was named to the tournament all-star team for his fine play throughout the tournament.
Lower Canada College Lions won the tournament as they defeated the Loyola Warriors 3-1 in the Championship game.
The Pipers will play in the toughest division in the prestigious Selwyn House tournament this week. Upcoming ETIAC League games; Wed. Dec. 5 Galt @ BCS 4:15 Fri. Dec. 7 Galt @ Stanstead 4:30