BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Vincent Massey’s Austin Dobrescu forces his way past a Morden Thunder defender during Sunday’s Victoria Inn High School Hockey Victoria Inn Division consolation final at the Optimist Arena on Sunday. Morden beat Vincent Massey 4-1.
The Vincent Massey Vikings came off their biggest win at the Victoria Inn High School Hockey Tournament at the Keystone Centre on Saturday night with a disappointing performance in the top tier’s consolation final on Sunday.
The Vikings beat their cross-town rival and tournament host Crocus Plainsmen 3-1 in the consolation semifinal Saturday night, but on Sunday afternoon they gave up a goal 31 seconds in the game and couldn’t rebound as they fell 4-1 to the Morden Thunder.
"I really think we were lacking some intensity coming into this game," said Massey captain Clark Whelpton. "It was a long weekend for us playing five games. I just felt like we didn’t have this one. Passes weren’t on the tape and we weren’t as physical as we were in other games. It happens some days and we just didn’t have it (Sunday)."
Kirk Dechka scored the lone goal for the Vikings, who fell 7-2 to the Sanford Sabres in the Victoria Inn Division quarter-finals. Taylor Drobot led the Thunder with a goal and an assist.
The longer the tournament went on, the more challenging it became for Massey. Not only was the players’ stamina put to the test but so was the team’s depth. Three second-year defencemen — Ricky Nicholson, Keesin Richard and Devin Shewchuk —went down with injuries, as did forward Matthew Byers, which forced the Vikings to go with a younger lineup.
Massey head coach Graham Garden felt his younger players will benefit from playing in the event, especially against Winnipeg teams that the Vikings may see down the road.
"You could end up seeing some of those teams in provincials and hopefully we have an opportunity to be there and compete at that level," he said. "The boys really held their own in most of those games, at least half of the games they were competing and holding their own."
Meanwhile, in the Royal Oak Division final, Landyn Cochrane scored the game-winner and set up the other two goals for Russell’s Major Pratt Trojans as they beat the Kelvin Clippers 3-2. Robert Wishart and Reece Ciprick also scored for Major Pratt in the second tier contest. Stephen McGregor and Ian Gawletz replied for the Clippers.
Trojans coach Greg Cochrane was happy with his team’s performance and hopes they made a statement that not only are they the host of the AA provincial hockey tournament this year, but a legitimate threat to win the banner.
"We hope so," he said. "… They’re still kids and you need to appreciate that. They do work hard and pull together when they need to and they don’t fight among themselves. We’re thrilled with their attitude and it’s exciting for sure."
The Dauphin Clippers reached the Crocus Plains (Tier 3) Division final before falling 6-2 to the Dryden Eagles. The Neepawa Tigers won the Crocus Division consolation title 3-1 over the Stonewall Rams. The Virden Golden Bears fell 9-0 to the Carman Tigers in the Royal Oak consolation semifinal.
Elsewhere on Sunday, it was:
Victoria Inn Division
Oak Park 3 St. John’s Ravenscourt 1
Tournament MVP Shane Kustra-Nelson netted a pair of third-period markers as the Raiders scored three unanswered goals to win the tournament championship. Alex Petersen also scored for Oak Park, while Jeremy Hope had two assists. Scott Shayna opened the scoring for the Eagles.
Sanford 2 Sturgeon Heights 0
Fraser Mirrlees and A.J. Nychuk scored for the Sabres as they secured a bronze medal. Ben Gilmore earned the shutout.
Royal Oak Division
Fort Frances 5 Vincent Massey-Wpg 2
Carter Brown netted a pair of markers for the Muskies as they finished third in the division. Shane Dillon scored one Trojan goal and assisted on the other.
Pembina 5 Carman 2
In the consolation final, Griffen McLean recorded a hat trick, while Colten Bamford had a goal and two assists for the Tigers. Cole Phillips and Scott Owen scored for the Cougars.
Crocus Plains Division
Dryden 6 Dauphin 2
Cam Zappitelli and Trey Palermo both scored a pair of goals and set up two more for the Eagles in the third tier final. Maxime Lizotte and Brendan Gilroy scored the goals for the Clippers.
W.C. Miller 5 John Taylor 2
Tristen Dueck had a hat trick for the Aces, as they placed third in the division. Shane Bigourdin had a goal and an assist for the Pipers.
Neepawa 3 Stonewall 1
Cody Pasowisty and Rylin Mitchler found the back of the net in the first period for the Tigers in the consolation final, with Preston James rounding out the scoring in the third. Sam Mandryk replied for the Rams.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 9, 2013