Canton Mite C hockey team captures Tiger Division titleBy Guest
It was an up and down season for the Canton Mite C White team. After a five-game midseason slide, this Bulldog team turned their season around. They started to play more like a team after making the transition to full ice and entered the Tiger Division playoffs on a five-game unbeaten streak.
They opened the playoffs with a strong 5-3 victory over the Stars Green. This was a great team win with everyone chipping in to do their part. Thomas Du scored the first of his hat trick to get the offense going. Then Carl Hyman gave the Bulldogs a little breathing room before Glen Makarov gave Canton a 3-0 lead. Some great up and down play by Makarov, Clare Ferrara, Nick Crowe, and Kyla Leahy were key. Strong play in goal by Aiden O’Toole kept the Stars off the board until a late surge that was too little, too late.
The second game matched the Bulldogs against an explosive Plymouth Red team. Plymouth went up 1-0 early in the second period. O’Toole again kept Canton in the game with several huge stops. The resilient Bulldog offense finally broke through and were able to tie the game at 1-1. Late in the second period, Hyman scored on a backhand to give the Bulldogs their first lead and they never looked back. Christian Weitz, Crowe, and Leahy kept the pressure on in the offensive zone. Strong defensive play by Jimmy Podgurski, Jared Radovsky, AJ Keaveney, and Owen Sasin helped to hold the Plymouth chances to a minimum en route to the 4-1 victory.
The third game was against a Braintree White team that had split victories with Canton in the regular season. This was also a back and forth contest. Max Eagles, Ferrara, and William Du chipped in with aggressive two-way play. Eagles scored a goal and also gave a terrific pass to Leahy, who scored to tie the game at 5-5. Down 6-5 late in the third period, Sasin won an offensive zone faceoff to Hyman, who tied the game at 6-6 with his third goal. Crowe made several acrobatic saves in goal to thwart some late chances by Braintree. It was looking like this game was going to be a tie until Weitz knifed through the defense in the final minute to score top shelf and win the game 7-6. It was his second goal of the game and a thrilling end to the contest.
The Bulldogs entered the championship game on a hot streak and would be matched up with Plymouth Red again. This would be a defensive battle that was even more back and forth than the Braintree game. After a scoreless first period, Hyman scored the first goal of the game on a laser to the top corner midway through the second period. It stayed that way, with both teams trading chances, until the third, thanks again to strong play in goal by O’Toole and the defensive efforts of Radovsky, Podgurski, Sasin, Keaveney, William Du, and Eagles. It was again a last-minute goal that won this game. This time it was Thomas Du scoring up top with 45 seconds left and his brother William hitting the empty net that clinched the championship.
This was an amazing end to a very fun season. This team played with great tenacity, desire, and grit. They truly learned how to play as a “team.” Thanks to all the parents for your support! Great season!
Submitted by Marty Sasin
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