ORILLIA – Vancea Financial Peewee C Aces claimed silver in the Orillia Hawks tournament here on the Jan. 10-12 weekend.
Aces fought hard through the eight-team division to come out with second-place honours.
In Stratford’s first game Friday evening, they met the rough and tough Bancroft Jets.
Jets started the scoring early in the second period, however, the Aces’ Madi McKinley from Jillian Pitts responded a minute later to tie the score 1-1.
Aces would take a 2-1 lead later in the second with some great passing from McKinley to Faith Binns to give Rachel Nash the opportunity to score. A minute later, Jets tied the game again to keep the pressure on.
A great solo shot by Binns midway through the third period gave Aces their final goal and their first win, defeating the Jets 3-2.
In Game 2 on Saturday morning, the Peewee Aces faced off against Ennismore Eagles.
Jessie Hahn from Chloe Bannon and Kate Schneider put Strataford on the board early in the first period. Eagles tied things up very late in the first.
Aces scored again twice in the second period with goals by Nash and Pitts, with assists from McKinley, Pitts, Nash and Natalie Weinheimer.
Good defensive plays would fend off any further goals against the Aces and they would post a 3-1 win.
Game three later Saturday had the Vancea Peewees battle the Otonabee Wolverines.
Aces started the scoring early in the first period with a shot from Binns, with assists to Jessica Rae and Rebekkah Phibbs.
Rachel Nash, from McKinley and Pitts, scored late in the opening frame to give Stratford a 2-0 lead. Nash, assisted by McKinley and Joselyn Burdett, connected again early in the second period to give the Aces a wider lead.
Wolverines attempted a comeback late in the period, getting a point on the scoreboard.
Aces dominated again in the third period, with a blue-line shot from Burdett, assisted by Ryley Jacobs and Binns, and another goal by McKinley from Burdett.
The Aces took a commanding 5-1 win.
The three victories moved the Peewee Aces to the semi-final match against Wilmot Wolverines on Sunday morning.
The well-matched game saw some awesome action by the entire team. Periods one and two were scoreless.
Late in the third period, a nice set up play by Nash to Phibbs whose shot from the point gave McKinley the chance to tip it in for the winning goal.
Julia Bouwman made some amazing saves to earn a well-deserved shutout.
The semi-final win allowed Aces to advance to the final game Sunday afternoon. The Vancea squad faced Twin Centre Hericanes for the championship.
Both teams came out flying, and the Hericanes managed to go ahead very late in the first period.
Aces would challenge the Hericanes in the second period. Kate Schneider, from Natalie Weinheimer, fired one home to tie the score. A minute later, a nice shot from McKinley, assisted by Nash and Pitts, gave Stratford a 2-1 advantage.
Late in the third period, Hericanes slipped one in to tie the score and send the teams into an overtime period.
With just over a minute left in extra time, Hericanes scored to claim the win and the gold.
The Vancea Peewees worked hard through the entire tournament and should be proud of their silver medals. The team worked together to make it a great weekend.
Thanks to the coaches, Jeff Bannon, Mike Binns and Jason Pitts, and trainers Amy Hahn and Kelley Jacobs for inspiring and leading the girls throughout the tournament.
A big thanks to the parents and families, who helped motivate the girls by cheering them on!