Langton Long's Lumber Leafs edged in LAMHA Joe Callens Memorial Hockey Tournament atom finals

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It could have been any given Sunday.

"We had a saying this weekend," said Langton Long's Lumber Leafs atom goalie Colton Butler after Sunday's gold medal game in the annual LAMHA Joe Callens Memorial Hockey Tournament.

"From that hockey commercial on Netflix," said Butler. "The guy said, 'the team was down...' and he said, 'you remember that speech,' and everyone says 'yeah,' and then 'THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING! Now let's go!"

Langton's pep talk, a parody of a commercial which parodies a well-known movie pep talk, seemed to work. The Leafs won twice Saturday in round-robin, lost to Cayuga Sunday morning, but bounced back nearly upsetting Cayuga in Sunday afternoon's gold medal game.

"We never lost in regulation with it," Butler noted. "We only lost once in regulation – and we didn't say that speech."

Cayuga took the gold with a 3-2 overtime decision, but the Long's Lumber atoms were proud of their efforts.

"I think we played really good," said Butler. "I think we played a better game this afternoon."

"It was a well-played game on our part," agreed Long's Lumber coach Mark Wilson, noting they had lost 3-0 to Cayuga Sunday morning in the third round-robin game. "We passed the puck better this afternoon."

Langton had opened the tournament with a win over Waterford taking all five points in a 4-1 decision. Michael Vanacker scored twice, with singles from Joshua King, who scored in the game's opening minutes, and Jesse Reimer, who scored 25 seconds into the third period giving Langton a 3-0 lead.

The Leafs made it an undefeated Saturday shutting out Plattsville 2-0 later in the afternoon. Jesse Reimer's early second period goal was the winner. King added insurance with a third-period power-play marker.

Waterford (1-2) and Plattsville (0-3) went on to play in Sunday's bronze medal game, with Cayuga and Langton meeting Sunday for a second time in the first-place final.

CAYUGA 3, LANGTON 2 OT

Langton struck first in Sunday's championship game when King buried a power-play goal off a scramble in front of Cayuga's net. Cayuga replied on a breakaway seconds later, then went up 2-1, still in the first period.

"They had some good shots," Butler admitted.

The one-goal lead stood up through the second period and half the third, but Langton tied it with 5:57 left in regulation. King, flying down the right wing, ran out of real estate in the Cayuga corner and backhanded the puck into the crease from a sharp angle.

"I was trying for top shelf," King smiled.

The puck ended up in the back of the net after a fortuitous bounce off the Cayuga goalie's skate.

"Yes, it did (go off his skate)," said King.

But he was not calling it a lucky goal.

"I don't think so," he laughed.

Still tied 2-2 after three periods, the teams played a five-minute four-on-four overtime. Cayuga applied early pressure in the sudden-death period, but Langton's defence – and Butler – held them off.

"I think we got a little nervous, didn't get the puck out when we needed to," said coach Wilson.

But the Leafs recovered and both teams had solid chances to end it – a proverbial see-saw battle – before Cayuga's assistant captain, Tyler Daniels, wristed home the tournament winner with 22 seconds left in OT.

"A rebound," said Butler. "Can't stop everything."

Long's Lumber 4, Waterford 1

Langton scoring: 1. Joshua King; 2. Michael Vanacker (Jesse Reimer); 3. Jesse Reimer (Brody Balazs); 4. Michael Vanacker (Dylan Boyd, Oliver Wilson).

Waterford scoring: 1. Keegan Gardner

Long's Lumber 2, Plattsville 0

Langton scoring: 1. Jesse Reimer (Stefan Vandendriessche); 2. Joshua King (Stefan Vandendriessche).

Cayuga 3, Long's Lumber 2 OT

Langton scoring: 1. Joshua King; 2. Joshua King (Oliver Wilson).

 

SOUTHERN COUNTIES

Saturday's back-to-back victories were the first wins of the season for Long's Lumber, who play in the tough Southern Counties Minor Hockey Association.

"We've had a lot of close games, but..." said coach Wilson, recalling a tremendous celebration after their first win Saturday. "After the first win they were ecstatic."

A younger team with only three second-year players (Jaime VanOoteghem, Dylan Boyd, and Seth Lawson-Baker), the Long's Lumber Leafs gave up a size advantage to at least two teams in the Joe Callens Memorial tournament, including Cayuga. But they were not intimidated.

"Not really," said Leafs' Joshua King, noting the Leafs are mostly first-year atoms, "except for a few."

"The kids didn't really say anything about their size," said coach Wilson. "They just went."

OMHA DD PREVIEW

Cayuga will be Langton's first-round opponent in 2014 OMHA DD atom playdowns, which open Sunday, Jan. 12 in Cayuga, giving the teams a preview of what the best-of-five preliminary round series might be like.

"A precursor to that," Wilson nodded, expecting a good, tough series. "I think our guys will be confident going into the playoffs. I'm glad to see they gave it a fight today – they really know they can play with them."

"I think we will be more confident," King nodded.

chris.abbott@sunmedia.ca

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