TeePees find groove at bantam mega tournament
All season the Trinity-Placentia bantam TeePees were missing something.
The team wasn’t having its usual success. This group in particular had won a provincial title two years ago in peewee.
Something was amiss and coaches couldn’t quite figure out what it was. They won maybe six games all season according to assistant coach Craig Whalen and had some trouble taking in what they were learning at practice and applying it to games.
“We had a struggle all year to get a win,” said the coach.
That all changed when the TeePees hit the ice for their first game of the bantam division mega provincial tournament cohosted by Gander and Glovertown Mar. 31-April 2. They met Stephenville in Game 1 and came out a different team from the one coaches had seen all year.
“It seemed like they turned it up,” said Whalen.
The TeePees opened with a 53 victory over the Jets.
With a bit of wind under their sails, the Whitbourne-based team kept things going in its second game with the hometown Glovertown team.
Again, the TeePees showed a deft display of skill and determination as they skated to an impressive 8-3 victory.
“We kept encouraging them and kept encouraging them,” said Whalen. “And, they kept winning and winning.”
With two victories in their back pocket and feeling good about their play, the TeePees headed into division A with their counterparts St. Pierre, St. John’s and the CeeBees of Harbour Grace.
Again, the bantams kept turning the heads of their coaches. A 2-1 victory over St. Pierre and a 3-1 defeat of St. John’s bookmarked a 10-3 loss to the CeeBees.
The St. John’s win put them in the position they wanted to be in — a chance to go home with a provincial banner.
The only obstacle being the CeeBees team that had handed them a lopsided loss a day earlier.
“I told them we’re going to come out and we’re going to write our own story here,” said Whalen.
Fueled by the earlier defeat, the TeePees were undaunted in their quest to produce a gold medal for themselves and their association.
Both teams came out strong as they traded leads before Trinity Placentia took the lead for good in the third period. The team tightened up defensively and held on for a 3-2 victory. They’d avenge the earlier loss at the most important time
“For the kids to do that after having such a rough year, it’s unbelievable,” said coach Darryl Barrett.
If this were a Hollywood production, the championship wouldn’t come without a big coaching speech before the final period. It would inspire the players and push them to the victory.
While this wasn’t a major motion picture, there was a coach’s speech. So the similarities are there.
“I told them that this was the Stanley Cup of minor hockey,” said Whalen. “It was their last chance to prove themselves to us … and prove to yourself that they’re a good team.”
The Trinity Placentia bantam TeePees defeated the CeeBees 3-2 in the A division final of the bantam mega tournament hosted by Gander and Glovertown March 31-Apr. 2. Members of the team are: front (l-r) —Abby Reid, Olivia Gilbert, Owen Groves, Ben Newhook, Mark Davis and Nick Lahey; back —assistant coach Chris Sanford, Brayden Smith, Ethan Russell, Davis Didham, Riley Newhook, Ryan Hiller, Brady Whalen, Zach Newhook, Colby Barrett, Josh Sanford, assistant Craig Whalen, Hunter Somerton and head coach Darryl Barrett.