31st Annual Walter Gretzky Champions, News, Atom Girls, 2011/2012 (Mt Forest Minor Hockey Association)

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31st Annual Walter Gretzky Champions
Submitted By Carsten Cottingham on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
A sleepover tournament is the highlight of any hockey season and our Atom girls were looking to make this the most memorable one ever!  With suitcases packed and a quick stop at Timmies we were on the road to Brantford this past weekend.  Rumour has it the Gretzky family itself invited our impressive group of ladies down after seeing our stats from the regular season.  After all we came through the season with a record of 13-2-1...who wouldn't want to see that team play?



Our first match up was against the East Lambton Eagles and our girls did only what was needed to be done to pull off a 3-2 victory.  Coach Kevin called a team meeting in the only available meeting room...Moose Winooskis...and reminded the girls of what was on the line (something about Paul in a dress??). 
Refueled and fired up they hit the ice against the home town Brantford Ice Cats.  One of the coaches strategies for this game was to put the parents behind the players bench with threats of embarrassment for lack of effort...well that definitely worked!  Ariana had a hat trick in the first period alone.  Marissa was able to catch up on some much needed rest as the team made sure the puck rarely made it down into that end.  By the end of this game every players number hit the game sheet for either a goal or an assist, Addison and Hannah also earned hat tricks and we sent the cats back to their litter box with an impressive score of 11-0. 
Back at the hotel the games really began...you want to see teamwork watch these 11 girls (with help from some siblings) put the run on a front desk clerk! 

Well rested and raring to go we faced off for the third game Saturday morning.  The philosophy was simple...win and we stay another night, lose and we go home.  The girls were pumped, little did we know Coach Kevin had already ticked off the refs!  2 penalties in the first 4 min, a bench warning to Kevin, a chat with our saucy goalie about freezing the puck and a waved off goal that had Bill throwing his arms in the air...(yes Bill quiet guy Nanninga)...all that and we still walked away with a 5-0 victory.  That's a reason to celebrate!  On to the semi finals!

A little quieter night at the hotel, an earlier bedtime for the girls....this is getting serious!  We were facing the Kitchener Stingers in the morning.  Same plan, same result...play hard and move on!
 
So with the parents pacing the benches (ok just Jason really but he has a lot on the line...promise of a team party) the puck dropped and we never looked back.  Hannah sets the tone in the first 30 seconds scoring the first of the Rams 8 goals.  Hannah earned her second hat trick of the tournament prompting her excited dad to toss his hat out on to the ice.  Again the score sheet is covered by most of the girls numbers, what teamwork! It is worthy of noting that Morgan earned 2 min in the sin bin that game and a huge smile and thumbs up from her little brother!  What's a team without a cheering squad?  So with a 8-1 final score another team meeting was called to prepare for the finals!

We traveled to Brantford to play some different teams and wouldn't you know it...we meet Normanby for the championship game.  This team has given us a run before but our girls are feeling bullet proof!  Kevin reminds them of what they need to do...stay focused, gobble up rebounds, break their goalies fingers if you have to just don't quit digging until the whistle is blown...and the team chimed in their usual "Shoot, Pass, kick some a**"!!!  And that is what they did...a 3-0 victory left them titled the 31st Annual Walter Gretzky Atom HL Champions!!!

People ask all the time why we love being hockey parents so much...take a look at the faces on our little champions...it's not hard to see why we feel so much love and pride in these girls!  They demonstrate true teamwork and perseverence each and every time they hit the ice.  Great work girls you deserve it!!

If you want to see some more fantastic hockey from these girls come cheer them on in their year end tournament this coming weekend in Ayton!!

Go Rams Go
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