En­ergy leads to dom­i­nance for novice ‘B’ Braves

The Glengarry News - - Sports in the Glens - Files from Todd An­der­son

The NGS novice ‘B’ Braves saved their best for last at the an­nual South Grenville hockey tour­na­ment held last week­end in Prescott and Spencervil­le.

Play­ing their sixth game of the event, and third match in a span of four- and- a- half hours on play­off Sun­day, the Braves’ en­er­gized fore-check, un­selfish pass­ing, and ded­i­ca­tion to pro­tect­ing the de­fen­sive zone led to a 7-1 vic­tory over a tal­ented Car­leton Place Kings team for the ‘A’ cham­pi­onship.

The Kings ac­tu­ally led the con­test early, scor­ing just 1:49 into the first pe­riod.

How­ever, the Braves didn’t let the early set­back ruin their day, draw­ing even mid­way through the frame, when Hay­den Dar­ling found the back of the net.

In the se­cond pe­riod Caleb Grady and Dar­ling scored to triple the NGS lead.

As the game wore on, the Braves’ ad­van­tage be­came more ev­i­dent. The en­ergy level was out­stand­ing.

NGS scored four more, as Grady capped off his hat trick with a pair, and Noah Mainville and Josh MacMil­lan each added sin­gles. Grady, Dar­ling, and Carter Rol­land counted two as­sists each, with Vin­cent An­der­son and Blake Nut­tall col­lect­ing one each.

Sav­ing his best game for the fi­nal, Grady was the choice for Hus­tler of the Game for NGS.

“It was es­sen­tial to come out and play hard against a good Car­leton Place team,” said as­sis­tant coach Joey Sul­li­van. “The rea­son we were so good in the game is an in­di­ca­tion of how bad the boys wanted it.”

In their six tour­na­ment matches, the Braves outscored the op­po­si­tion 36-5.

To reach the fi­nal, the Braves es­caped the semi­fi­nal round with an ex­cit­ing 2-1 vic­tory over Lower St. Lawrence Divi­sion ri­val Corn­wall 2 Colts.

Again, NGS found them­selves be­hind the eight ball early, when Mat­teo Dixon gave the Colts a 1-0 lead. Af­ter a score­less se­cond pe­riod the Braves head- ed into the third pe­riod down but not out. It took less than a minute to make some­thing hap­pen, as Nut­tall scored from line­mates An­der­son and Kyan Helmer. The Braves capped off the rally when Nut­tall cap­i­tal­ized off a scram­ble in front of the net to give his team the lead, which even­tu­ally stood up as the win­ner, with three min­utes re­main­ing. Rol­land’s re­siliency af­ter an in­jury early in the game, and his will­ing­ness to switch from for­ward to de­fence when called upon, were the main rea­sons he was cho­sen as NGS’ Hus­tler of the Game.

NGS started the day with a 5-0 win over the Kemptville B1 Pan­thers. Dar­ling and An­der­son each had a goal and an as­sist. Rol­land, Nut­tall, and Helmer also scored, with Grady and Ai­den Cas­sel­man record­ing as­sists. Con­tin­u­ing his emer­gence with stel­lar play be­tween the pipes, Dry­den Cole­man was mas­ter­ful in record­ing the shutout. Cole­man back­stopped all six vic­to­ries in the tour­ney. De­fence­man Lukas Sul­li­van was poised and fo­cused in the quar­ter-fi­nal and was named NGS Hus­tler of the Game.

The event opened on Feb. 12 when the Braves scored a 6-2 vic­tory over a tough Kemptville B2 Pan­thers squad. Nut­tall led the charge with two goals and an as­sist, while Dar­ling and Rol­land each had one and one. Helmer and Grady rounded out the NGS scor­ing. An­der­son had two as­sists. Cas­sel­man was a safety net on the Braves’ blue­line, al­ways in ex­cel­lent po­si­tion in the de­fen­sive zone, earn­ing NGS Hus­tler of the Game.

The Braves won game two 11-0 against the North Dun­das B1 Demons. An­der­son and Nut­tall each had two goals and two helpers; Dar­ling was two and one; Cas­sel­man scored twice; Grady had a goal and two as­sists; Rol­land had a goal and an as­sist; and Helmer capped the scor­ing for NGS. MacMil­lan, Mainville, and Sul­li­van each picked up one helper, en­sur­ing all team mem­bers had at least one point in the win. Dar­ling was rec­og­nized for his dogged pur­suit of the puck and net pres­ence as the NGS Hus­tler of the Game.

Next, the Braves went headto-head with the Pointe-Claire Rem­parts, rolling to a 5-1 win. Grady was in a giv­ing mood as he chalked up four as­sists. Nut­tall scored twice, with sin­gle mark­ers from Rol­land, Dar­ling, and Mainville. MacMil­lan, Dar­ling and An­der­son each had an as­sist in the win. Helmer used his blaz­ing speed to draw sev­eral scor­ing chances for NGS and was a de­serv­ing win­ner of the Hus­tler of the Game award.

PHOTO COUR­TESY LIND­SAY MCIN­TOSH-MAINVILLE

TRO­PHY TIME: NGS’ novice ‘B’ Braves cel­e­brate their South Grenville tour­na­ment win. In back are, from left, as­sis­tant coach Joey Sul­li­van, head coach Todd An­der­son, and as­sis­tant coach John Grady. Play­ers stand­ing are Hay­den Dar­ling, Josh MacMil­lan,...

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