BANTAM AAAs CAPTURE OSHAWA CHALLENGE TITLE, News (Oshawa Minor Hockey)

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2017-2018 Bantam AAA - BANTAM AAAs CAPTURE OSHAWA CHALLENGE TITLE
Submitted By Bantam AAA Mgr on Thursday, January 11, 2018
While it may be a worn out cliche, the Oshawa Bantam AAA team captured the recent Oshawa Challenge tournament championship with what can only be described as a true team effort, defeating Clarington 3-1 in the finals on Sunday January 7th 2018

Wins have been hard to come by thanks largely to a stream of injuries and illnesses. However, even a depleted lineup-just 13 skaters- just didn't seem to matter much. The team limped out of the round robin portion with just one win, a 5-0 shutout over Timmins. There were a pair of one goal losses to Ottawa's Eastern Ontario Wild and Clarington as well as a one-period meltdown loss to Hamilton, a team Oshawa had thrashed in the October Peterborough tournament.

So the minor Gens likely entered the semi-final on Sunday morning, Jan 7, against the Wild as an underdog. Except that this time, the dog bit back. The Gens won the game 2-1. Sport scores though rarely tell the whole story. Playing their fifth game in 48 hours with a thin roster, the boys pushed their play to an entirely new and emotionally higher level than they'd experienced this season.

Four hours later, in the final against Clarington, a repeat performance of outstanding individual efforts earned them a thoroughly deserved crown. So, what happened? Was it the new post-game snacks? The approach to focus and mental preparation? The confidence gained from having defeated a touring Finnish team on Dec 29 3-2? Or merely a break from a tough first four months?

To put the championship in perspective, there were already two defencemen out with injuries. Playing with four is tough enough. What made it all work was stellar goaltending and forwards who committed to defensive zone play, blocking shots, toughing it out along the boards, and sagging down to help at the net. In fact, at a couple of times in the final, there was just one defenceman on the bench due to penalties. One forward immediately offered to step back to help. It was that kind of commitment to the team and willingness to do what it took to win that propelled the Gens to success.

There's a lot to be said for confidence, for not just suspecting you can succeed, but feeling you can. That's what made the championship so beautiful
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