The second tournament of the season for the boys kicked off in Tilton, New Hampshire, with the first game against the home team Tilton going exactly like the boys wanted it to go. A 3-0 victory against the Tilton Rams Varsity team was the start the Blues wanted for the tournament, but the competition was tough. The opposition came out of the gate with something to prove for their fans, with strong offensive presence and strong physicality that caught the Blues off guard for the first few minutes of the game. However, the boys did not let up and matched the Rams’ physicality and matched their offensive presence by potting 3 beautiful goals. Strong goaltending and the ever improving defensive core kept the opposition at nil giving the Blues a safe lead from one of the best teams in the tournament.
The second game against a Toronto based team Everest, would be the second time the Blues faced this team in a tournament setting. With the game in Montreal extending into shootout to decide the winner, with the Blues coming out on top with the win, the boys were determined to blow everest out of the water and leave nothing to the chances of shootout. The boys came out strong potting quick goals against Everest, but penalties set them back as the majority of the game was spent on the penalty kill. However, with Everest racking up penalties of their own, the rest of the game was spent 4-4 where the lead the blues obtained was enough to solidify their second tournament game victory.
The third game, against opponent Philadelphia Revolution was physical and full of penalties with little scoring from both sides. The opponents played an “old school” dump and chase hockey that surprised the Blues at the start and were very physical which drew lots of penalties and allowed the Blues to play most of the game a man up. Although they were not able to capitalize on the power play opportunities, the Blues snuck away with a victory that they would rather not remember. It was a late 9:30 pmgame and many of the boys were exhausted after two games in one day, one early morning against everest, and one extremely late against the Revolution. This showed on the ice against a team that the Varisty Blues should have easily blow out of the water.
With three victories in the round robin, the boys were placed at the top of their college prep division and thus played the fourth place team in the other division in the quarterfinal game on Sunday morning. The opponent, a US based team called Victus, was no match for the blues who dominated them physically, offensively and defensively. Ryder Thususka, the Blues MVP of the game, potted three spectacular goals, giving him his first hat trick of the season in a crucial game to put the Blues in the semi finals against the other home team of New Hampton Prep.
The semi final game was exciting from the minute the puck dropped on Sunday afternoon until the final whistle blew. The style of the game was quite different than anything the Blues had seen thus far in the season whereby it was a single period of play for 25 minutes. Coach Carl Beaudoin reiterated to the boys that coming out strong would be imperative to beat the extremely strong opponent of New Hampton. That is exactly what the boys did. By matching the physicality that is American Prep hockey and by creating offensive chances with beautiful passing plays the Blues were able to hold the New Hampton team at a 1-1 tie with a fantastic goal coming from center man Jack Tucker after a great hit from Pier-Olivier Lefebvre which created the opportunity to score. Once again, after the final whistle blew, the boys found themselves going into a sudden death overtime period of 5 minutes, quite reminiscent of what they went through in Montreal this passed month. With opportunities coming from both sides, the five minutes of overtime proved to be a battle that neither team wanted to give up and ultimately ended up in a shootout. With the Blues going first, Eddie Yan dazzled the crowd with a NHL like goal putting the Blues at an advantage. Joe Howe followed Eddie’s lead with a fantastic save. However, no goals were scored after from the Blues and 2 were scored by the opponent which ended in a loss for the Blues in an extremely hard fought battle. The Varsity Blues would like to thank the parents and coaches who made the trek out to New Hampshire to support the boys in their second tournament of the year. Without your support the boys would not be able to do what they do on the ice.