Simcoe Sliders take silver
BRAMPTON - On Friday November 4the Simcoe County Sliders headed to Brampton to compete in the 8th annual Cruiser’s Cup at the South Fletcher’s Sports complex hosted by Cruiser’s Sports for the Physically Disabled.
In the Friday night game against the Hamilton Sledgehammers the Sliders Ryan Floyd scored in the first period to take the lead. The Sledgehammers came back in the 2nd and scored 2 goals putting Hamilton ahead by 1 until Michael Hobbs tied it up at the end of the second period. Ryan Floyd came back 15 seconds into the third and scored putting the Sliders in the lead.
Then Hamilton came back just over a minute later and we were tied at 3. With 5:46 left in the 3rd, Hamilton scored again taking the lead 4-3. Ryan Floyd came back with 1:49 left in the third and tied it up 4-4 and that is how it ended Friday night.
Saturday morning after a good night’s rest, the sliders came to the arena looking for their first win of the tournament. Their first opponents of the day were the Mississauga Cruisers. The Sliders went on to and 8-0 victory with goals scored by Ryan Floyd (2), Cameron Mercer (2), and Michael Hobbs (2) and singles by Tivon Martin and Mitchell Saunders. This huge victory would not have happened if it were not for the assists from Tivon Martin, Justin Brocklebank, Adam Goodwin, Michael Hobbs, Connor DeSousa, Jayson Brocklebank, Julia Brocklebank and Mitchell Saunders.
On to our third and final game of the tournament schedule. The Sliders were teamed up against the hard playing Windsor Ice Bullets. Windsor scored early in the first period to make it a 1-0 game.
These two teams fought back and forth for the the rest of the game but there was no other scoring. After three games, factoring in points we scored for our tie, win and periods where no goals were scored on the Sliders-- Sliders made the playoffs! For this team to win a game in a tournament was a big feat, never mind making the play offs to be ranked 3rd at the end of the regular schedule.
Sunday morning the Simcoe County Sliders faced the Hamilton Sledgehammers. We knew what to expect from this team as we had played them Friday night. Excellent goaltending by Hastings Saunders all the way through the three regular games and another shutout in our first game of the playoffs. 3 goals scored by Ryan Floyd, Michael Hobbs and Cameron Mercer put us in the gold medal game.
The team had to wait in anticipation to see who they would be facing-- it was the Windsor Ice Bullets. Windsor opened up the scoring with 4 minutes left in the first period. This was a hard back and forth game between both clubs. Michael Hobbs got on the board for the Sliders at the nine-minute mark of the second with an assist from Mitchell Saunders.
The Sliders were tied going into the 3rd, and stayed that way until there was a huge group of players from both teams in front of the Sliders net and Windsor shoved it in with two minutes left in the 3rd. Windsor went on to win 2-1, making the Simcoe County Sliders the Silver medalists.
This whole team was numb. They had competed in this tournament two years in a row, but had never won a game before this weekend. Walking away with a silver medal every player, member of the bench staff and parent was 10 feet tall. Coaches Scott Martin and Brian Goodwin, trainers Heather Ma and Stan DeSousa, manager Sandra Saunders and everyone else involved in getting the team to this level of play are all so proud of the hard work and perseverance of the Simcoe County Sliders.
If you would like to learn more about sledge hockey please visit our website at www.simcoecountysliders.ca. If you would like to see a sledge hockey game in person, the Simcoe County Sliders are hosting a “local celebrity” sledge hockey game on December 3rd at the Eddie Bush Arena in Collingwood at 8.pm. Please come check it out and support your local all accessible sledge hockey team. Funds raised are to help keep equipment updated and keep costs down for our families.