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Hometown Stand - PeeWee Minors win gold in Essex



submitted to EFP

After a handful of exhibition games, the Essex Ravens PeeWee Minor team jumped full steam into the start of its hockey season with the opening round of the 41st annual Essex Early Bird Tournament. The Ravens faced off against local rival ,Tecumseh Eagles, to start the tourney. The Eagles showed how fierce of competitors they could be, winning 3 - 2 in a hard fought contest. The boys from Essex trailed throughout the game, but never gave up.

Game two pitted the Ravens against another local team, the Windsor Junior Spitfires. Again, the Ravens fell behind by a goal early and played catch-up the rest of the game. The fast paced action swung from end-to-end as each team tallied two goals. The second Essex goal was scored with less than two minutes remaining, earning them a tie in the round robin play.

In game three, the Ravens erupted for five goals in the first period on their way to a 6 - 1 victory and a third place finish in the round-robin.

The semi-final game re-aligned Essex and Windsor, but the result was not the same. The Ravens took charge of the game after the drop of the puck. The display of passing put on by Essex drew comments from the opposing team’s parents, as well as the strong defence and goaltending. Essex skated away with a 3 - 0 victory and had eyes on the defending Early Bird champions, the Tecumseh Eagles.

The final game of the tournament was highly anticipated by players and parents alike. The Eagles had demonstrated strong play throughout the tournament, handing Essex its only loss. However, this only fired up the intensity with which the Ravens approached the match. For the second straight game, Essex used the whole ice surface and moved the puck away from danger and into the Tecumseh end. Although the Eagles were the first to strike in the closing seconds of the first period to lead 1 - 0, the Ravens quickly responded in the second to tie the game at one. From that point on, it was all Essex. The Ravens would go on to score twice in the third period and win the gold medal game with a final score of 3 - 1.

The Essex Ravens PeeWee Minor hockey team utilized its hometown advantage to defeat last year’s champions in front of a crowd filled with family, friends, and Raven players. The coaches are proud of the determination and strong play put forth by the entire team throughout the tournament and look forward to the next challenge.


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