Grand Bay-Westfield – The St. Stephen Minor Hockey Association’s peewee B Spartans are having an exciting few weeks.
Recently, the squad advanced to the Day of Champions after a 4-1 victory over the Kennebecasis Valley Hawks 4-1 in crossovers.
Last weekend, the Spartans defeated the Lancaster Thunder 3-2 in double overtime at the Day of Champions in Grand Bay-Westfield.
The Spartans’ scored their first goal in the first frame. Down 2-1 late in third period, the Spartans goalie was pulled.
With 1:03 remaining in regulation, the team sent the game into overtime with a goal tying Thunder 2-2.
Nearly three minutes into the second overtime period, the game winning goal – shorthanded, no less – was scored to secure the Day of Champions banner.
Coach Kevin Strang said the squad was handed three penalties in overtime, but noted “our outstanding penalty kill allowed us the opportunity to win the game.”
“It was a complete team effort. They worked from whistle to whistle. There was great goaltending; it gave the team the opportunity to tie the game with a minute left.”
And the winning celebration?
It was one Strang joking described as “mayhem.”
“All the gloves and the sticks and everything went flying, and of course everybody jumped off the bench, and went and congratulated the goaltender.”
Strang said heading into the second overtime period, he told his team to continue their hard work, and keep putting shots on net.
“I told them that one shot is going to win it for us, and to cover the men in our own end, and limit their opportunities, and it worked for us.”
But the excitement for the Spartans doesn’t end with the Day of Champions banner.
The squad is hosting the peewee B provincials this weekend at the Garcelon Civic Center.
Because of their Day of Champions win, the Spartans are heading into the eight team provincial tournament as the No. 1 seed from their zone.
The green and white team is currently riding a winning streak, with four wins and one tie.
“It seems the team peaked and came together at the right time,” Strang said. “I think they started to buy into the team concept.”
The team concept, he explained, extends to the coaching staff, and those who help the team run smoothly.
“The team would like to thank our manager Melanie Cameron for all of her hard work, and our two coaches, Josh Hatt (assistant coach) and Bryce Beck (goalie coach). Without their help and preparation, we might not have been as successful as we were.”
The peewee B Spartans are slated to compete in semifinals at the Garcelon Civic Center today (Sunday) at 12 p.m.