Last Wednesdsay, the SCI Contractors Stratford Warriors Minor Bantam MD team took on Oakridge Aeros at the Rotary Complex.
It was the Warriors’ third game in four days and the Stratford boys came out well keeping the game scoreless by the end of the first period.
Warriors had a great second period, limiting the Aeros to only three shots. Caelen Eveleigh took a great pass in the neutral zone and his speed got him around the Oakridge defence but he was hauled down with a hook, hitting the boards hard.
Eveleigh took the penalty shot and scored by showing a lot of patience to wait for the Aeros’ goalie to make his move, then he slid the puck in around him.
The third period, however, was not strong for the Warriors as the Aeros scored three unanswered goals. Warriors took some costly penalties and the team did not show the intensity they had shown the night before.
Warriors pulled their goalie with over a minute left but they could not get anything going. Paul Bennett played another strong game, facing 39 shots in net.
Final score was: Aeros 3, Warriors 1. Warriors had 16 shots on the Oakridge net.
The Bantam Warriors were helped by AP player Matthew Whittemore, who played well.
The SCI Contractors Minor Bantam MD team will play a back to back series against London Bandits, starting Nov. 18 in London then returning to Stratford the next night.
Upset first-place Nationals
On Tuesday, Nov. 4, the SCI Contractors Minor Bantam MD team travelled to London to take on the first-place Nationals.
The first period saw Warriors come out well against a strong forechecking North London team keeping the game scoreless.
In the second period, Nationals ran into penalty troubles giving Stratford a 5-on-3 powerplay. While the Warriors cycled the puck well in the Nationals’ end, they could not find the back of the net and the second period ended with the score still deadlocked 0-0.
The Nats took the lead early in the third with a shorthanded goal. However, less than three minutes later, Warriors tied it up after some great forechecking by Marcus Nicholson to turn over the puck in the neutral zone. Jared Searles flipped the puck into the net to tie the score 1-1. Ryan Lott also assisted.
Nationals took another penalty late in the period, giving the Warriors another powerplay. The visitors did some great cycling of the puck, that allowed Neil Trainor to take a shot on the London net and score the go-ahead goal.
Nationals pulled their goalie with two minutes left and put some intense pressure on Warriors’ goalie Jarod Fleming but Fleming was impregnable and the Warriors were able to clear the puck.
The final score was Warriors 2, Nationals 1. This was the Warriors’ first league win of the season and the Nationals first loss of the season.
Fleming faced 38 shots and was as always stellar in net. Warriors had 11 shots on London with six in the third period.
Warriors took no penalties all game, which was imperative against a very strong Nationals team.
The SCI Contractors Minor Bantam MD team’s next game is against Oakridge Aeros on Wednesday (Nov. 12) at the Rotary Complex.
Bennett stars in road game
On Sunday, Nov. 2, the SCI Contractors Minor Bantam MD team travelled to Sarnia to take on the Sting.
Warriors got behind by two goals early in the second period, but the Stratford boys battled hard against a tough forechecking Sarnia team.
A hard shot from the point in the second from Eric Van Nes pulled the visitors to within one goal. Stratford created some good opportunities with the Warriors starting to cycle the puck around more.
A great chance to tie the score came on a 2-on-1 with David Shantz making a great pass to Tyler Lingard, but the Sarnia goalie came up big.
It was a late third-period goal that sunk the Warriors but they battled hard to the final buzzer. Final score was Sarnia 3, Warriors 1.
It was Stratford goalie Paul Bennett who was the star making some great saves and facing 47 shots between the pipes.