Shoot-out sensation at Bay Arena
Rovers win Tri-Com atom division I title in dramatic fashion
The Bay Arena Rovers concluded an amazing season in the Tri-Com Minor Hockey League March 17 by defeating the Conception Bay Regional Renegades 3-2 to win the division I atom championship. It took a protracted and thrilling shoot-out to decide a winner.
The excitement and drama that unfolded Thursday night ensured the roughly 600 people who watched the game — one of the largest crowds this season — were not disappointed.
“ This is what they’ve done all year. They’re a product of dedication and hard work,” Rovers’ head coach Bo Bennett said following a spirited celebration on the ice in which the team accepted their gold medals and championship trophy.
After going undefeated against the Renegades in league play this season, the Rovers came into the best-ofthree championship series as favourites. But the plucky team from Kelligrews made the Rovers work hard for every inch of ice, making for a highly entertaining and impressive display of hockey as the nine-and 10-year-olds battled for league supremacy.
After splitting Games 1 and 2, the stage was set Thursday night for a winner-take-all affair.
The game had it all: terrific goaltending at both ends, strong defensive play, late-game heroics and a storybook ending as the only female in the game, Shailynn Snow of Clarke’s Beach, potted the winning goal in the eighth round of the shoot-out to secure the Rovers’ victory.
“I picked the bottom hand corner and put it in,” an exuberant Snow said afterwards, describing the goal and the team’s championship as her sporting highlight.
It capped an impressive few weeks for Snow, who recently became the first female to receive a three-star award in the Tri-Com League, based largely on her twogoal performance against Mount Pearl in the semi-final. Snow is a smooth, explosive skater who makes her home in front of the opposing team’s net, collecting rebounds and redirecting pucks.
Rovers’ keeper Riley Petten was also stellar in his team’s gold-medal run, and was likely the difference in the game as he made several key stops during regulation and in the shoot-out. Petten also received a three-star award from the league.
“ That young goaltender gives us an opportunity to win games every night,” said Bennett.
It was arguably the most significant championship for the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association in quite some time, since the Tri-Com League is comprised of the best young minor hockey players from the St. John’s metropolitan area.
The Bay Roberts-based association captured a TriCom midget title several years ago, but many of the elite midget-age players compete in the provincial AAA midget hockey league.
Bennett described the atom division as “unbelievably competitive.”
Renegades strike first
The Renegades silenced the home crowd when Devin Foote opened the scoring with less than four minutes to play in the opening stanza, sliding a low shot beneath a sprawling Riley Petten.
Kyle Petten evened the score at the 4:17 mark of the second, with Matthew Akerman drawing an assist on the play.
Rovers’ captain and leading scorer Zachery Bennett sent the crowd into a frenzy with four minutes left in the game when he finished an impressive rush by burying the puck into the top corner, over the blocker of the Renegades’ keeper.
It appeared the tally would hold up as the winner as time ticked away, but with only 50 seconds left on the clock, Nathan Lake found the back of the net to knot the game at two goals apiece.
That set the stage for a shoot-out, and Snow’s heroics in the eighth round.
The Rovers had little chance to rest, however. The team was scheduled to host an atom A invitational tournament at the Bay Arena over the weekend.
Rovers’ assistant coach Scott Mercer rubs his eyes as he watches the shoot-out.
The look on Matthew Akerman’s face said it all. Akerman and his Bay Arena Rovers teammates captured the Tri-Com Minor Hockey League’s division I atom championship March 17 with a shoot-out win over the CBR Renegades in the third and deciding game of the final series. Shown here with Akerman are Shailynn Snow (left) and Mason Oates.
Members of the Bay Arena Rovers atom A team celebrate their championship win in the Tri-Com Minor Hockey League following a dramatic shoot-out win over the CBR Renegades of Kelligrews on March 17.
Rovers’ keeper Riley Petten comes up big on one of the shots he faced during Thursday night’s shoot-out between his team and the visiting CBR Renegades.
Shailynn Snow proved to be the hero after scoring on this shoot-out attempt against the CBR Renegades.