Our peewee team this year had some big shoes to fill. After all former OBHA coach of the year Ralph Di Roma had already won its first gold medal at this tournament last year. Could this team assembled by Rob Bastianello and Billy Babir repeat its shot at Gold?
The team played its first game Friday evening vs. the Newmarket Vipers and even before the ball dropped the chemistry of this squad in the changing room was unreal. These kids determined to win GOLD right from the get go.
The ball dropped and the game was on. A team that won every race to the ball, shut the blue line down, passed the ball well and had great goaltending was all that was needed to shut the door down and win its first game of the round robin 5-0.
The Stars second game would be a tougher task. The Beeton Xtreme had already won its first game and the battle of going undefeated was on. The pace of this game was just remarkable. End to end action had fans from both sides jumping out of their seats. Regardless, this game was scoreless at the end of one.
Early in the second Beeton fell a man short after a tripping call was made deep in the offensive zone. With the power play unit on it didn’t take long for Anthony Andrisani to put one in behind the Beeton goalie.
With Richmond Hill up 1-0 a Beeton player was called again on another tripping penalty. With the penalty coming to a near end Matthew Hirsch carried the ball right into the Beeton crease and slipped it by to put the Stars up 2-0.
Beeton fought hard and finally closed the gap within one with just under four minutes to play. With the momentum in the home teams favour Beeton coach Terry McDermott had all 5 of his players pressing forward in trying to tie it up before this game was over. The Beeton players were caught deep in the Richmond Hill zone when Mark Bastianello and Matthew Hirsch broke out on the odd man rush. Matthew Hirsch made no mistake in getting his second of the game. Anthony Andrisani also added his second of the game just seconds later when a clearing attempt went into the empty net.
There was a two hour break before the team stepped onto to floor to face its final game of the round robin vs. Shelburne. You’d think that after an intense game vs. Beeton that this team would show signs of fatigue. Well the ball dropped and the Stars were flying sky high. This team did not lose its step. Quicker and better than their two previous games you can see that this team was ready and determined to play for gold. After 30 minutes of play Richmond Hill 4 Shelburne 0.
Well it’s Saturday evening and slowly the Stars begin walking into the building for the 8 o’clock game. I look at these kids and they look hungry. A loss is just unacceptable. The coach prepares them with the pre-game speech and this team is all fired up.
The game begins at a real fast pace, end to end action but both goalies stand tall. Which one of these two will allow the game opener? With just over 7 minutes played the Stars strike first as Matthew Hirsch gets his 4th of the tournament. It only took 30 seconds for the Stars to strike again as David Rogers chipped one by as the Beeton goalie who came out to challenge the ball. That would be the end of his run for gold as Beeton made a goalie change. It looked like the change worked in favour of Beeton. They were all over the Stars and with 3 minutes remaining in the first they got within one. With just over 2 minutes remaining in the first the Stars find themselves in penalty trouble. The penalty kill unit did its job as required and killed the entire 2 minutes at ease.
The second period was just about to begin and even before the ball had dropped Riley Mei took a slashing call which had him sitting for two or less. No worries here though, RH was successful once again in killing its second straight penalty of the game. With the score still at 2-1 it was anyone’s game. Both teams exchanged several chances and with 4 minutes remaining Richmond Hill was back in the box for two. At this point of game I began to sweat I could only imagine what all the moms and dads supporting their children were feeling. Once again Richmond Hill penalty kill was flawless. With the clock winding down Beeton pulled the goalie for the extra attacker but again they were unsuccessful.
Richmond Hill wins GOLD and the STARS are SHINING BRIGHT TONIGHT.
Congratulations To the TEAM
Goalie: MIkey Babir
Players: David Rogers, Matthew Laframboise, Anthony Andrisani, Nicholas Borsellino, Matthew Hirsh, Carmelo Lamanna, Andrew Collangelo, Jack Tinmouth, Mark Bastianello, Nick Elia, Sheldon Nolan, Vasili Tsaggerelis, Riley Mei, Daniel Naccarato, Porter Greatrex, Nicholas Roman
Coaches: Billy Babir, Rob Bastianello, Peter Borsellino, Tony Collangelo