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EXHIBITION GAME 4: Hershey 2 – Ancienne-Lorette 1
Quebec City, Quebec – Complexe Sportif Wendake
February 16, 2019
One day before the Jr Bears official debut in the Tournoi International de Hockey, Pee-Wee they took on a local Ancienne-Lorette team. Back playing at the familiar Wendake arena which was built on Huron First Nations Land and also being the newest hockey barn most of our players and parents have seen.
For the fourth time our Chocolate Town team decided that playing from behind early on is a motivator. It didn’t take long for Ancienne’s six-foot tall forward to intercept a misdirected pass from our blueliner intended for a forward on the half-wall. He got a nice shot past starting goal tender Ryan Murphy. But that would be all the scoring in the 1st period. Murphy held his composure, making some great saves. The Jr Bears put themselves in some precarious position which required some backchecking heroics, notably from defenseman Ellie Dimatos. The opponents demonstrated good hockey sense paired with good size and speed up front. Mason Kaplan had several notable offensive zone entries with speed but Ancienne was strong on their sticks always making a last-ditch effort to poke pucks away. The Ryan Dhawan, Brady Logue, Blake Umberger line continued to work with reckless abandon but always Ancienne found the puck luck. Big defenseman Issa Mansour just missed connecting with Logue for what could have been a great opportunity. Unfortunately, the Jr Bears played a little too aggressive on the puck and would have to start the 2nd period short-handed. End of 1st period score 0-1.
Forwards Cam Westlake and Hunter Strohm took the first short-handed forward shift of the 2nd period and kept Anncienne at bay. Strohm was able to make a big defensive zone clear which help eat critical minutes off the clock in favor of our team. The Jr Bears survived the penalty unscathed. Later on forward Ben Smith used his aggressive offensive play to draw a penalty which put the good guys on the power play for the first time. However, the Jr Bears just couldn’t generate enough offensive firepower to add a tally. Ryan Murphy made a notable glove save around the 7:20 mark. Ancienne made a planned goalie change midway through the period. As is typical of PeeWee hocke, goals often come when least expected and with more grit that grace. Parker Nassour tied up an Ancienne defensemen low in their zone and was able to pop the puck lose to a Cam Westlake on the tail end of a long shift, he was able to find some space and slide a backhand puck over the goal line. Score 1-1. The Chocolate Town players needed that score to pull it together. The Jr Bears made their own planned goalie change with the momentum in their direction. With Ryno Harris in net the Jr Bears kept on the throttle. David Maish had a nice zone entry and pass to line mate Hunter Strohm who snapped off a nice shot. Eli Schaller followed up with a potential score but the Ancienne goaltender made a better door than a window. Harris made a nice leg save around the 2:33 mark. Kaplan ended the period with a hard shot.
The 3rd period was a tale of defense. The coaches modified the forechecking strategy and it succeeded in countering Ancienne’s speed. Tucker Valoczki turned on the defensive pressure. Defenseman Shelby Shane got pucks on net and Broden Wood held his blueline and kept the puck in the zone when it counted. Ben Smith created a great scoring chance and drew a critical penalty around 6:20 in the period. On the ensuing faceoff, centerman Ryan Dhawan pulled the draw back to defenseman Brandon Shaffer who buried the puck in the back of the Ancienne net! Score 2-1. The Jr Bears would go on another powerplay and Ryno Harris would make two more impressive saves before the final buzzer sounded. Final score 2-1. The Jr Bears had 19 shots on goal and Ancienne recorded 22 shots on goal. Murphy was 12/13 and Harris was 9/9. The Jr Bears will take on the Quebec Nordiques on 17 February at 1pm at the Centre Videotron.