Essex Thunder Atom completes tournament trifecta

Filed under: Headline,Sports |

submitted to EFP

With the Lakeshore Lightning and London Devilettes’ tournament championships already cemented, the players with the Essex Thunder Atom girls team had their work cut out for them last weekend as they battled their way through the competition in the Keith Lindsay Memorial Tournament hosted by the Southpoint Stars.

On Friday, the Thunder roared right out of the gates dominating the Brantford Ice Cats from the drop of the puck on. The girls were relentless in pursuit of the puck throughout the game, receiving strong play from sisters Payton and Rylee B as well as Grace “The Wall” O in the pipes.

On Saturday morning, the team took on the LaSalle Sabrecats in, what most observers agreed, was one of the finest passing performances of the season. Unselfishly, the girls tossed the biscuit around the ice with the skill of a surgeon, leading to countless open chances and offensive pressure throughout the game. With Kendyl S’s newly hat trick, as well as strong defensive performances by Avery C, Eve F and Kasey G, the Thunder sealed another shutout victory.

Racking up 15 goals for and zero against, in the first two games, the competition ramped up as the Thunder squared off against its division rival, South County Blue. The action was hot from the get go with chances at each end before sniper Brynn B found the back of the net to put the Thunder up early. What followed was a steady stream of Thunder to the sin bin and many brilliant saves by Grace O. In the end, the girls held on to preserve the victory and remain undefeated.

Heading into the final game of pool play, the 3-0 Thunder still had plenty of work to take care of against the Windsor Wildcats at Sunday’s final. After a slow start, the girls started to roll when Lily S, Katie S, and Daviney B kept the Wildcats players scrambling defensively as they peppered their goalie. Despite the pressure, the game remained deadlocked 1-1 with only minutes to go in the third period. It was Brynn B who skated around two defenders and scored for Essex to lock down a spot in the final against the formidable South County Yellow.

Could this very young team from Essex really go three for three in tournaments this year and cement their place in history?

Before a nearly packed rink of fans, both teams tested each other. Excellent play along the boards by Reese F and relentless back checking by mighty Kacie G had the Thunder bench on their feet and pumped up when Addison M smashed home a rebound to put the Thunder up 1-0. Not to be outdone, the opponents poured it on and squeaked in the equalizer to send the game into a three on three sudden victory over-time.

With the tension in the arena so thick you could cut it with a skate blade, the Thunder quickly rattled off a series of shots, leading to a wild scramble in front of the net before Kendyl S buried the puck. The fans jumped up and the Thunder bench was over the boards to celebrate.

With this win, the Atom girls capped off an amazing year of tournament action, going a perfect three for three! The team is grateful for all its supporters this season, who cheered the players on and throughout this tournament over a long and exhausting weekend.