The Chedoke Minor Hockey Association Express Novice Selects stayed undefeated in the West Mall hockey tournament to claim the championship.
The Express opened the tourney with a 6-3 win over the Barrie Junior Colts on Friday (March 29). They followed up with a 5-4 decision the same day over the West Mall Lightning. On Saturday, the Express battled to a 4-4 tie with the Faustina Fury to advance to the championship game.
In taking the title, the Express met the Fury again and needed a 3-2 overtime win for the trophy.
“I still can’t believe how our group of house league players has grown together to become this incredible team of skill and perseverance” said Head Coach Rob Johnston. “Each of our players is so important in their own way to our team success.”
The Chedoke Novice Selects celebrate a win earlier this season in Brantford. (Photo: Rita Pugliese/Chedoke Minor Hockey)
In Chedoke’s opening game, Antonino Pugliese and Massimo Greco each had two goals and two assists. Dylan Houlachan and Nathan Channer added singles.
The Express overcame a 3-1 Barrie lead going into the final period when Chedoke scored five unanswered goals within eight minutes. Netminder Hudson Timofejew picked up the win.
The Express took a 5-2 lead to start the third period of its second game and held off a West Mall charge for the win.
Quinn Levinson scored three goals in the win with Pugliese added the other two. In net was Rueben Lachance.
Levinson led the way in tying Faustina, scoring three goals, including the tying marker with 2:34 left in the game. Greco potted the single and goalie Timojejew got the tie.
Val Johnston’s first goal of the tourney couldn’t have come at a better time. With 51 seconds left in the first overtime session, he scored to give Chedoke the championship with Lachance in net for his second victory of the tourney.
Nicolas Palka and Matteo Reda had the Express’s other goals.
With back-to-back hat-tricks in the round robin wins against West Mall and Faustina, Quinn Levinson was named tournament team MVP. “Quinn really held us in there in those tough games. Well deserved for him!”, said Trainer/assistant coach Kiki Deligeorgis.
The Chekdooke Express will now enter Group B of the IBAO ALLIANCE championship undefeated. The House League Select championship takes place April 12-14 in Fort Erie.