Major Atoms Go 5 – 0 at Nation’s Cup Tournament
The Lambton Jr. Sting Major Atom AAA team travelled to Lansing, MI over the weekend and went 5 – 0 in the annual “Nation’s Cup” tournament where Canadian teams play against American teams
to see which county would reign supreme in "Canada's Sport"!!!
Lambton opened the tournament, early Friday morning, against Victory Honda. The team found themselves down 3 – 1 heading in to the third period of play. Defenseman, Anthony Bax would get Lambton’s only goal through 2 periods of play when scored a beautiful point shot from his defensive partner Connor Nesbitt and winger Carter Viglasky on the power play. The Sting faithful were beginning to see the game slip away but these young players battled hard and were rewarded with 3 goals in the final 4 minutes of play. Scoring in the late stages of the game were Derek Esselment, Andrew Lemieux and Carson Peer. Assists on these 3 goals were given to Bradyn Santavy, Jake MacLean, Derek Esselment and Carter Viglasky. Goaltender, Blake Foster stood tall between the pipes to earn the 4 - 3 win.
Game 2 saw the Jr. Sting face off against the Cleveland Lumberjacks. Lambton dominated this game from the drop of the puck and would take the game handily 5 – 1. Point getters in the game included : Jake MacLean (2G), Bradyn Santavy (1G, 1A), Andrew Lemieux (1 G, 1 A), Nate Highfield (2A), Carson Peer (1G), Owen Peters (1 A), Ryder Nienhuis (1 A), Wesley Brooks (1 A) and Connor Nesbitt (1 A). Goaltender, Kaden Gray, played stellar to earn his first win of the season!!!
The Jr. Sting played their 3rd game, early on Saturday afternoon, against the Madison Capitals from Wisconsin. After a slow 1st period, the team came out strong in the 2nd and 3rd to take a 5 – 2 win. The game was a total team effort. Carter Viglasky would tie the game up at 1 – 1 late in the second on a pass from Nate Highfield. Lambton dominated the 3rd period of play and would take the lead for good scoring 2 goals in just 1:39. Centre Ryder Nienhuis would score Lambton’s 2nd at the 13:21 mark of the period when he snipped a pass from Lucas deLorenzo. Winger, Bradyn Santavy would score his first of 2 in the game just 1:56 later from Carson Peer. Madison would score minutes later to cut the lead to 3 – 2 but that was as close as they would get as Santavy would score once again from Nienhuis (shorthanded) and Andrew Lemieux would seal the win late in the period.
Game 4 brought the Cleveland Barons and a very feisty affair. However, the Jr. Sting prevailed and kept their cool throughout to take the game 6 – 0. The defensive duos of Matthew Moore and Nicholas Medeiros, Connor Nesbitt and Anthony Bax, and Wesley Brooks and Jake MacLean were unbelievable on the back end, limiting the Barons chances and helping secure goaltender Kaden Gray’s second win in as many games and his first shutout of the season. Point scorers included : Andrew Lemieux (1 G, 3 A), Nate Highfield (2 G, 1 A), Carter Viglaksy (1 G, 2 A), Bradyn Santavy (1 G), Anthony Bax (1 G), and Ryder Nienhuis (1 A).
After round-robin play, Lambton found themselves with an undefeated record (4 – 0) and in second place in their Canadian Pool behind the Brantford 99ers on a +/- goal differential tie breaker. On Championship Sunday each pairing of Canada vs USA were given predetermined points to be accumulated to see which nation would win the tournament. The second place Jr. Sting were paired up with the second place team from the USA, the Chicago Fury and 5 points were on the line.
Chicago would open the scoring late in the first and would have a 2 – 1 lead heading in to the third. Getting Lambton on the board was winger, Bradyn Santavy from linemates, Derek Esselment and Carson Peer. Chicago would go up 3 – 1 with 5 minutes left in the third and were feeling that a win was within their grasps.. However, this never say die team, battled back and scored 2 goals in the last 5 minutes of play to tie the game at 3 – 3 and send the game in to a shootout. Lambton goal scorers late in the game were Derek Esselment from Andrew Lemieux and Bradyn Santavy and Andrew Lemieux from Nate Highfield. With the Canadian faithful on the eadge of their seats, Ryder Nienhuis would score the only goal that Lambton would need in the shootout as goaltender, Blake Foster, would shut the door and stop both Fury shots he faced to help lead the Jr. Sting to a 4 – 3 shutout win.
Team Canada would shutout Team USA, winning all 6 games on Championship Sunday, and earning all 21 points up for grabs.
The Lambton Jr. Sting Major Atoms players and parents would like to thank their coaching staff, Brad MacLean, Darryl Foster, Jeff Eves and Kraig Nienhuis for working with them over the last 3 months and helping them realize that they ARE a team to contend with in the future!