Chris Fee Cup game a thriller

Mi­nor Atom AA Petes take part in open­ing cer­e­monies game at 60th Peter­bor­ough Lift­lock Atom Hockey Tour­na­ment

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DI­REC­TOR mdavies@post­media.com

At 60 years of age the Peter­bor­ough Lift­lock Atom Hockey Tour­na­ment spans the gen­er­a­tions as the Chris Fee Cup game dis­played.

Peter­bor­ough McBain Quar­ries mi­nor atom AA Petes head coach Mike Hef­fer­nan played in the tour­na­ment and is now coach­ing his son Travis at it.

The Petes, com­pet­ing in the BB Di­vi­sion, were in­volved in the Chris Fee Cup game at the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre which serves as the of­fi­cial open­ing cer­e­monies for the four-day, 126-team af­fair which fea­tures 11 di­vi­sions in the atom age group. The game was broad­cast on YourTV.

“It was big for our kids with the tra­di­tion that it’s been around Peter­bor­ough,” Hef­fer­nan said. “All the coaches have played in it so it’s big for our kids to play in the tour­na­ment and be in the open­ing game.”

It’s been a lot of years since Hef­fer­nan played in it but one me­mory stuck out for him.

“I just re­mem­ber play­ing in the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre as a kid. That was al­ways a big thrill. We told the kids how big it was and how im­por­tant it was to play in it and to have fun.”

Petes player Blake Mon­crief said his fa­ther Chris played in the tour­na­ment, too, so it felt good to do the same.

“He told me there are tough teams in this tour­na­ment,” Blake said.

He said it was also ex­cit­ing to be on TV.

“It was cool be­cause peo­ple could watch us from all around the world,” he said.

The Petes came out on the short­end against the vis­it­ing Lea­side Flames 2-1 with all the scor­ing in the first pe­riod. Ben­jamin Tay­lor scored both Lea­side goals 1:51 apart in the open­ing three min­utes. Peter­bor­ough replied 1:33 later when Sawyer Flem­ing set up Ethan Richardson with 6:05 left in the first pe­riod. They were un­able to beat Lea­side goalie James Pun again even through a five-on-three power play mid­way through the third pe­riod.

“We played pretty good I just thought we could have scored more goals,” Mon­crief said. “We were shoot­ing on that goalie and had tons of shots. We have to move the puck around on the power plays and be a team.”

“We gave them two quick goals and then had to bat­tle back and came up a lit­tle short,” said Hef­fer­nan. “We have to win both games (Satur­day) now to be able to move on to Sun­day. We didn’t have a great game or a great ef­fort but we bat­tled back. We didn’t win all the bat­tles we should have. The mes­sage was to be ready for to­mor­row.”

This was the first time Lea­side coach Brad Bull said he’d brought a team to the PLAHT and they were ex­cited about be­ing in the mar­quee game to kick off their tour­na­ment.

“It was a su­per big deal for our guys,” Bull said. “Our guys were pumped to show up to the arena to­day. They heard they were go­ing to be on TV which they thought was amaz­ing. They lined them up on the blue-line and an­nounced all their names and sang O Canada. All that stuff just adds to the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Bull said he knew about the tour­na­ment’s his­tory and pres­tige.

“I have a brother-in-law who lives in Lake­field and he al­ways talks about how it’s a big draw. I have an older boy as well and while he never played in it some of his bud­dies have played in it and talked about how great an ex­pe­ri­ence it was and how big a deal it is lo­cally.”

It was also nice, he said, to kick things off with a win.

“We came out with high en­ergy at the start and it boiled over for us in the game and we took off fly­ing,” he said.

“The home­town guys turned it on and they took it to us. For­tu­nately, our goal­tender had a re­ally good game and was able to but­ton down the hatches through some of our penalty prob­lems and we were able to keep this one as a W. Hats off to that Peter­bor­ough team. They’re re­ally good.”

The tour­na­ment started Thurs­day night with a hand­ful of lo­cal house league teams play­ing. All 126 teams hit the ice at 12 area ice pads on Fri­day. There will be 243 games played over four days with the fi­nals set for the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre on Sun­day start­ing at 7 a.m.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT/EX­AM­INER

Peter­bor­ough McBain Quar­ries Mi­nor Atom Petes' Ethan Richardson cel­e­brates his goal scored on Lea­side Flames goalie James Pun dur­ing the Chris Fee Cup open­ing cer­e­monies game at the 60th Peter­bor­ough Lift­lock Atom Hockey Tour­na­ment in the atom BB Di­vi­sion on Fri­day at the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre. Lea­side won 2-1. See more pho­to­graphs from the game in the on­line gallery at www.thep­eter­bor­oughex­am­iner.com.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT/EX­AM­INER

Peter­bor­ough McBain Quar­ries Mi­nor Atom Petes goalie Josh Lafre­niere blocks a shot against Lea­side Flames dur­ing the Chris Fee Cup open­ing cer­e­monies game at the 60th Peter­bor­ough Lift­lock Atom Hockey Tour­na­ment in the atom BB di­vi­sion on Fri­day at the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre. Lea­side won 2-1. See more pho­to­graphs from the game in the on­line gallery at www.thep­eter­bor­oughex­am­iner.com.

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