Cup win sweet revenge for Major Atoms
Peterborough Liftlock Atom Hockey Tournament finals Sunday at the Memorial Centre
The Peterborough RBC Financial Major Atom AA Petes tasted sweet revenge at the 61st Peterborough Liftlock Atom Hockey Tournament.
In the Chris Fee Cup showcase, which served as the opening ceremonies game Friday afternoon at the Memorial Centre, Cameron Reynolds goal with 1:28 left in the third period rallied the Petes past the West Ferris Trappers 2-1. Two months ago, West Ferris beat the Petes 1-0 at a tournament in Ottawa.
The 114-team tournament will feature 242 games played in 10 atom divisions at 12 area arenas over four days.
“We wanted revenge on that team,” said Petes centre Caiden Rogers.
“It felt good because my whole family was here watching. I like the Memorial Centre because it’s really wide and that’s where we can use our speed and drive wide to get goals.”
The game was televised live on YourTV both in Peterborough and North Bay which added to the excitement.
“It’s a special tournament because it’s been around for a long time,” said Griffin Rutherford.
“It feels special to be a part of it because it’s the only tournament where the first game is on TV.”
Petes coach Mike Heffernan says his team got off to a slow start this season but has reached the final of two recent tournaments and picked up two big league wins against top teams.
“We’re coming together and starting to win a at the right time,” Heffernan said.
“Last year we played in this game and lost. To see all the trophies go to the other side and start the tournament with a loss was detrimental to us. So it was huge to be able to win today and keep the trophies here in Peterborough.”
The trophies included the Chris Fee Cup presented to the winning team. The James Johnston Memorial Award for most valuable player went to Reynolds. The Dave and Harold James Memorial Award went to winning goalies Antonio Bianco and Nathan Sorichetti. The Rapid Lift Hardest Working Players were Reynolds and the Trappers’ Peyton Cyr.
Hunter Watson gave West Ferris a first period lead. Rogers tied it with 5:55 left in the second period. Reynolds hit the goalpost and then poked the loose puck over the goal-line for the winner.
Tournament organizers also created an opening ceremonies game this year for house league divisions to precede the Chris Fee Cup. The PHA Mighty Wings beat the Lakefield Chiefs 3-1. Trent Nealin scored all three Wings goals while Bella Coppaway replied for Lakefield.
It was an exciting way to kick off the tournament for the Mighty Wings who have one win in league play.
“They were all pretty excited,” said Mighty Wings coach Marty Vanden Anker.
“In our house league division we’ve been doing great but we’ve been missing the mark by one goal every game. That’s our second win of the season so that’s why our whole team was so excited. To be able to play at the Memorial Centre and be on TV and be the opening game of the tournament they were extremely excited.”
“It felt really special of everyone working together,” said Mighty Wings player Ben Van Dijk. “We were really nervous at first but then everyone forgot we were on TV. It feels special to win a game in a very big tournament.”
They were excited to play at the PMC.
“it felt like a special moment you could always hold onto,” Van Dijk said. “It means a lot, I’m sure, to everyone on this team because it’s a really big tournament.”
Finals for all 10 divisions will be played Sunday at the PMC from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Peterborough AA Atom Petes goalie Antonio Bianco and teammate Eddie Chambers clear a rebound from West Ferris Trappers’ Benjamin Brunton during the annual Chris Fee Cup game to officially open the 61st Peterborough Liftlock Atom Hockey Tournament action on Friday at the Memorial Centre. The Petes edged the Trappers 2-1.