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02Elites Bring Home the Gold

Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 9:07AM

The 02Vipers-Elite team capped an amazing weekend of hockey and off ice fun with a thrilling OT win to take home the Gold Medal in the Can-Am tournament in Lake Placid which took place from October 17-20. 

The team took part in the opening ceremonies on Thursday evening and then came out flying against the Markham (Ontario) Islanders. The boys were clearly ready to play despite the day of travel and the late start time, dominating the game from start to finish on route to a 5-1 win.

On Friday in what would be a preview of the Gold Medal game the boys took on the Red Bank (NJ) Generals in an exciting contest.  The Vipers came out flat but thanks to strong D and goaltending the first period ended scoreless.  The second period ended 1-1 and then the Vipers took it to the Generals taking a 3-2 lead with 5 minutes to play.  Unfortunately, 2 late General's goals resulted in a 4-3 Viper loss.  The team was undaunted knowing that with 2 wins on Saturday they would get another shot at the team from NJ and proceeded with team bonding activities with gusto.

Saturday saw the Vipers take on the Boston Junior Terriers twice.  In game one in Saranac Lake the Vipers again had a slow start in part due to the Terriers tenacious play. The score after one was again scoreless due to Trevor's great play in net.  The Vipers went up 1-0 in the second and then sealed the deal with a short-handed goal late in the third for a 2-0 shutout win.  Game two in the afternoon back on the Olympic ice saw the Vipers go up 1-0 early but then the Terriers shut them down and tied the game late.  However, the 1-1 tie put the Vipers into the Gold Medal game.

Saturday afternoon saw the Vipers dominate the skills competition.  Andrew won the shootout. Trevor was victorious in the goaltending not allowing any goals. To top it off, Johno won the essay contest and a free week at a Can-Am camp.

Early Sunday morning the Vipers laced them up for the 5th time in 4 days with a chance to win gold against the Generals.  The team was quietly confident and very motivated to avenge their earlier loss and a senseless rubber band gun attack the previous night.  Once again the team struggled early and the Generals took a 1-0 lead.  The first period was notable for much chippy play and 5 penalties.  Knowing that a 2 goal deficit would be tough to overcome Vipers did not back down and kept the score 1-0 until early in the second when Sean S. tied the game at one.  As the game progressed the Vipers took over and looked like the stronger team but despite some great chances late in the third period, regulation play ended with the score tied at one.  With the momentum in their corner the boys had some great scoring chances during the 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 overtime periods but the game moved on to a 2 on 2 overtime session.  That's when Johno got a pass from Sean S., came in over the blue line, and ripped a wrist shot by the Generals goalie for Gold Medal game winning goal.  A memorable celebration ensued (and the boys were happy as well), followed by the medal ceremony, the stick salute to the parents, the dousing of Coach H. with the water, and the pictures with the trophy.