The International Silver Stick experience for Tillsonburg Underhill’s Farm Supply AE peewees was loaded with international flavour.
“It was kind neat, they’ve never experienced anything like that playing kids from a different country,” said Underhill’s Farm Supply coach Derek Partlo, noting the Tornadoes played two US teams in the round-robin – from Kentucky and Pennsylvania – then met two more American teams – from California and Wyoming – in the knockout stage.
“The kids from San Jose, before and after our game, were out climbing in the snow – they had never seen it before. They had never really experienced this kind of climate.”
Sixteen teams, including an even mix of American and Canadians entries, competed in the 2012-13 AE peewee International Silver Stick in Niagara Falls, Jan. 10-13.
“They had a banquet on the Thursday night and they got a chance to exchange pins. The kids had their jerseys on and got to meet kids from all over. It was a great experience.”
Each team played three games, then separated into Tier 1 and Tier 2 divisions.
Tillsonburg shut out Owensboro, Kentucky 1-0 in the preliminary round, got blanked 5-0 by Pelham, an Ontario rival, then tied Philadelphia (Delco Phantoms) 3-3. Sam Cull and Andrew Hamm shared the goaltending for the Tornadoes.
Tillsonburg 1, Kentucky 0
Logan Savoy netted the game-winner with 3:52 left in the third. The Owensboro Puck Hogs eventually went on to play in the Tier 2 final.
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Logan Savoy (Kenny Coyle).
Tillsonburg 3, Philadelphia 3
The Phantoms scored twice in the third, including a power-play marker, to salvage a tie.
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Aidan Ketchabaw (Cole Hicks); 2. Logan Savoy (Duncan McLean, Evan Buchanan); 3. Landon Partlo (Logan Partlo, Braydon Verschueren).
“Pelham’s a really good team,” Partlo noted. “We finished our round-robin 1-1-1… I think we missed out (of Tier 1) on goals for/against.”
With a Canadian centre hosting this year, games were played using Canadian peewee hockey rules with one exception – no body checking.
“We had to get used to that, it was a little different. We’re a team that’s been getting used to the body-check, for sure, so taking that away took a pretty big adjustment. I think our forwards didn’t mind it, but the D had a tough time trying to stop kids without taking the body.”
Tillsonburg 3, San Jose 2
Tillsonburg edged San Jose 3-2 in the quarter-finals on Friday, Jan. 11. The Tornadoes came from behind with back-to-back second period goals from Braydon Verschueren and Landon Partlo giving them a 2-1 lead. Duncan McLean broke a 2-2 tie with 3:03 left in the third to win it.
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Braydon Verschueren (Logan Partlo); 2. Landon Partlo (Logan Partlo); 3. Duncan McLean (Logan Partlo).
Wyoming 3, Tillsonburg 2
The semifinal against Casper, Wyoming, was a nailbiter. Tillsonburg took a 2-0 lead on a pair of Logan Savoy goals, late in the first and early in the second, but the Casper Oilers struck back with two late in the second and eventually won it 3-2 scoring with 50 seconds left in the third.
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Logan Savoy (Kenny Coyle, Evan Buchanan); 2. Logan Savoy (Duncan McLean, Kenny Coyle).
“It was a tough loss, but they were a good team,” said Partlo. “The boys played well – we’re proud of their weekend. It was a great time for the boys and a great experience hockey-wise, too. We played some high quality games and we represented our town – and Tillsonburg Minor Hockey – very well.”
The Underhill’s Farm Supply peewees rolled Simcoe in three games to sweep their opening round of OMHA playdowns. Tillsonburg defeated their Southern Counties rival 9-1 in the Jan. 15 opener, then won 4-2 on Jan. 16, and came from behind 4-3 to finish the six-point series on Jan. 19.
“They’ve given us some tough games,” said Partlo, noting the Tornadoes swept their SC opponent this season. “They have a short bench and they play pretty hard, but our kids played well – we controlled most of the play. We did get down (Saturday) but then we tied it up and scored with 11 seconds left to win 4-3.
“I think the kids were geared up because it was OMHAs. They stayed ‘up’ and I think that’s the first series this team has ever won in OMHA. The kids have come together this year, they’re really developing.”
Partlo anticipates a second-round series against Tavistock, who led Paris in their six-point series.
“We’ve had some good games against Tavistock this year. They’re a big, physical team. It should be a good series.”
Tillsonburg 9, Simcoe 1
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Braydon Verschueren (Aidan Ketchabaw, Logan Partlo); 2. Logan Savoy (Cole Pace); 3. Ethyn Brown; 4. Logan Partlo (Duncan McLean, Kenny Coyle); 5. Logan Partlo (Ajay VanHaelewyn); 6. Ethyn Brown (Aidan Ketchabaw); 7. Duncan McLean (Cole Hicks); 8. Duncan McLean (Cole Pace); 9. Braydon Verschueren.
Tillsonburg 4, Simcoe 2
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Ethyn Brown (Logan Partlo, Evan Buchanan); 2. Aidan Ketchabaw (Logan Partlo, Braydon Verschueren); 3. Logan Partlo (Aidan Ketchabaw); 4. Duncan McLean.
Tillsonburg 4, Simcoe 3
Underhill’s Farm Supply scoring: 1. Braydon Verschueren (Logan Partlo, Kenny Coyle); 2. Logan Partlo; 3. Evan Buchanan (Kenny Coyle, Logan Savoy); 4. Logan Partlo (Evan Buchanan, Ethyn Brown).