Round 1 Wrap-Up Listowel Atom AE vs. Saugeen Shores, News, Atom AE, U11, 2015-2016 (Listowel Minor Hockey Association)

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Round 1 Wrap-Up Listowel Atom AE vs. Saugeen Shores
Submitted By Brett Miller on Monday, January 25, 2016
This past weekend the Atom AE Cyclones completed their first series of the playoffs versus Saugeen Shores.  After a back and forth series, the Cyclones came out on top showing heart and determination.

After a cancelled game due to weather conditions, game one of the series came on January 15 when the Cyclones travelled to Southampton.  After a long drive, and with a relatively late start, the Cyclones came out of the gate a little sluggish.  They were not able to get much going offensively, but neither were the opposition and the period would end scoreless. 

To begin the second, Saugeen Shores came out with two quick goals.  This seemed to spark the Cyclones, as they finally found their legs.  Just two minutes late the team would push back, scoring to get within one.   For the remainder of the period the Cyclones pushed hard to tie the game.  However, they were unable to do so as the period ended with the team trailing by one.

Beginning the third the Cyclones looked to continue to push to tie the game.  However, it was Saugeen Shores who were able to find the back of the net early, scoring to regain their two goal lead.  Unfazed, the Cyclones continued to battle.  The team proved they were not going to back down scoring less than a minute later to get back within one.  Not satisfied, the Cyclones continued to push, and with four minutes remaining they were able to tie the game.  After both teams traded scoring chances before the end of the third, the opening game of the series was heading to sudden death over time.

After playing well on the road, the Cyclones liked their chances of skating away with at least one point.  However, less than a minute into over time they were penalized and forced to kill off a two minute minor.  The Cyclones put up a valiant effort on the kill, but with six seconds remaining in the power play, Saugeen Shores took advantage of a lucky bounce scoring to take the game 4-3 and a 1-0 series lead.

 

Putting the tough loss behind them the Cyclones returned home the following day seeking revenge.  This time, the Cyclones began the game ready to play.  They were able to control much of the first period, but were unable to capitalize.  Nearing the end of the period it was Saugeen Shores who were able to open the scoring, taking a 1-0 lead into the second period.

Throughout the second period the Cyclones once again controlled much of the play.  But again, they were unable to break through offensively.  Finally, with just over two minutes remaining in the period the Cyclones would score to tie the game.

Riding the momentum the team dominated the third.  They would add another goal less than two minutes into the period, and another nearing the midway point.  With a two goal lead, the team’s defense and goaltending took over.  The team shut down Saugeen Shores making the final 3-1, tying the series 1-1.

 

After another cancellation due to weather conditions, the Cyclones hosted game three at Wallace Arena on January 19.  Spending most of their practices at Wallace arena, the Cyclones felt right at home.  This was evident from the drop of the puck as the Cyclones threw everything they had at the visiting goalie.  However, it was a familiar story as they were not able to find the scoreboard and the period would end scoreless. 

Heading into the second, the Cyclones knew they had been the better team and continued to push.  They once again directed a number of shots towards the Saugeen net, when finally they were rewarded, scoring four minutes into the period.  Following the goal the Cyclones had a number of scoring chances including pucks sitting on the goal line, but they were unable to add to their lead.  As it happens so often, after the Cyclones were unable to capitalize, Saugeen Shores were.  The opposition scored on a broken play to tie the game with just forty three seconds remaining.

The opposition would strike quickly again to start the third as a player exiting the penalty box took advantage of a funny bounce for a scoring opportunity.  Now trailing 2-1, the Cyclones once again continued to push.  Just like the first and second, they generated a number of scoring chances.  However, with the period winding down and the goalie pulled, any hope was lost as Saugeen Shores added an empty netter to make the final 3-1 taking a 2-1 series lead.

 

Heading to Port Elgin for game four on January 22, the Cyclones had their backs against the wall.  However, they knew that they had been the better team for most of the series and easily could have held the series lead.  They knew that if they continued to play well they would have a good chance of winning the series back at home.  It was evident from the drop of the puck that the team was hungry.  The Cyclones outshot their opponents by a heavy margin in the first period, but once again the period would end scoreless.

The second period was much of the same.  The Cyclones threw a number of pucks to the net, but this time they were rewarded for their efforts.  The team was able to score three goals in just over three minutes, including one from the point to take a commanding 3-0 lead.  With the period winding down the opposition showed a little push back, scoring to cut the lead to two.

Heading into the final period, the Cyclones shut the game down.  They were able to add a quick goal thirty seconds into the period and locked things down from there.  They did not back down, but they played an excellent game defensively.  The team was able to spend most of the period in the offensive zone as the forwards fore-checked responsibly and the defense held the line.  Along with a few saves, the game would end with a final score of 4-1, with the series now tied 2-2.

 

After a huge win on the road the Cyclones came home to a rocking crowd at Listowel Memorial Arena the following day.  The team may have been a little nervous, allowing Saugeen Shores to score on the first shift, but the Cyclones completely dominated the remainder of the game.  Following the quick goal the Cyclones would answer with three goals of their own in the period, including another from the point, to take a 3-1 lead into the second period.

Saugeen Shores would once again score to open the period, but again, the Cyclones answered quickly.  With the crowd behind them the team once again scored three in the period, including another blast from the point, to take a commanding 6-2 lead into the third.

Continuing to roll, the Cyclones were able to score midway through the third extending their lead.  Saugeen Shore would make things a little interesting under minute later, scoring to cut the lead to four, but the game was never in doubt.  The Cyclones put the game away, scoring with just over two minutes left to make the final 8-3, taking the series 3-2.

The team should be proud of the way they played throughout the series.  They battled back from 1-0 and 2-1 series deficits and a 1-0 score early in game five.  The Cyclones easily could have quit, but the team showed a lot of heart battling through adversity. 

The player of the game jacket was awarded to the whole team after game five.  Every player battled hard to win the opening round, and are now set to face Kincardine starting on the road this Wednesday followed by a game at home on Saturday.

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