The Flamborough Sabres atom AE hockey team successfully defended its title as the Three Rivers champions after dominating the recent Pittsburgh tournament.
The Sabres were pumped for their first game, which was against a team from Butler, Pennsylvania, but quickly fell behind 2-0 early in the first period.
Two quick goals from Justin Doman and Michael Santini got the team refocused and the players roared back for a convincing 9-2 win.
The forward line of Blake Stevenson, Toren Marchesano and Hudson Holmes played a strong game, keeping pressure on the Butler goalie and showing the importance of being first to the puck.
The defensive pairing of Braeden Hooper and Jake Messina kept the offensive threats away from Sabres’ goalie Michael Grainger with timely blue-line pinches.
The Sabres’ second game later that day saw them take on a talented team from Niagara Falls.
The relentless Sabres attack, this time led by the quick breakouts of Hayden Paterson, Santini and John Iturriaga, gave little opportunity for the Niagara Falls forwards to make a move.
Defencemen Michael Langdon and Jakob Maclennan kept the Niagara team in their own end for most of the game, providing little work for the Sabres’ goalie, Billy Moore.
The Flamborough team’s ability to consistently win the one-on-one battles was a key point in the team’s 9-0 victory.
In their third game of the tournament, the Sabres faced off against a big team from Mount Lebanon and wasted little time in getting things under control, as the forward line of Doman, Ryan Riggs and Jack Iannuzzi scored three times in the first period on the way to an 11–0 win.
Defensive duo Aiden Reynolds and Brandon Folk kept the Mount Lebanon offensive threat to a minimum, stopping the offensive rush before it even got started. They also contributed greatly to Grainger’s first shutout ofthe tournament.
The Sunday afternoon championship game was a rematch against the Butler team – the only one to score on the Sabres during the tournament.
The Sabres began the period sluggishly and the score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period with Butler netting a buzzer beater. After a pep talk from the coaching staff, the Sabres roared back and scored two unanswered goals in both the second and third periods on their way to a 5-1 win to secure the Three Rivers cup title for the second year in a row.
Goaltender Moore rose to the challenge, turning away the Butler offensive threats with timely saves and Santini took home the Most Valuable Player award for his work in the championship game.
The Sabres currently are in fourth place in the Tri-county Atom AE division with a record of 9–4–7.
Next, the Sabres are slated to compete in the Alliston Silverstick Tournament on December 29.