Vikings finish Victoria Inn tournament on winning note
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As Grade 10 forward Theorn McGregor and his Vincent Massey Vikings teammates prepared for their third-place game in the ‘B’ event at the Victoria Inn High School Hockey Tournament at Westoba Place on Sunday afternoon, they weren’t entirely sure how they would match up with the Glenlawn Lions.
“We had heard that they were a pretty good team with some really talented players, so I think some of us thought that we might get crushed,” McGregor said.
“We turned up our level of play and we kept up with them. As the game went on … we started to realize that we had a shot here.”
After falling behind 3-1 early in the second period, the Vikings scored three unanswered goals on their way to a 4-3 triumph over the Lions.
McGregor scored the game-winning goal on a power play with 3:38 to go in the third period as his point shot went off the cross bar and crossed the goal line.
“To be honest, I was just trying to get a shot on the net and get a rebound,” McGregor said. “Instead, the puck went in. I’ll take it.”
Porter Ewert, Josh Romanik and Josh Ransom also found the back of the net for the Vikings. Tyler Rogers dished out two helpers and Dhaytyn McCurdy made 28 saves.
Noah Saunders, Deacon Gallagher and Emerson Veloso provided the offence for the Lions, but their best player was netminder Marek Sobkow, who turned aside 48 shots and frustrated Vikings shooters all afternoon.
“Before the third period, I told our guys just keep pounding the rock and they would be rewarded in the end, which they were,” Vikings head coach Brent Blaine said.
“We’re pretty happy with how we finished out the weekend. To come back like we did against Glenlawn and to play five games in three days against some tough teams … I’m proud of our group.”
The Vikings went 3-2 on their way to being the highest placing Westman school at the tournament.
After going 1-1 in Pool F play – they blanked the Red Lake (Ont.) Rams 3-0 on Friday afternoon but lost a 4-2 decision to the Sanford Sabres later that evening – they won a wild 9-7 ‘B’ event quarterfinal to the Dryden (Ont.) Eagles on Saturday.
They would drop a 7-3 decision in the semifinal to the Fort Frances (Ont.) Muskies, who lost the ‘B’ event final to the Steinbach Sabres in a 4-2 affair.
“We had some ups and downs, but I honestly thought the weekend turned out pretty good,” McGregor said.
“We played against some pretty skilled teams, but I think the biggest thing that was different from what we are used to in Manitoba was facing those teams from Ontario who like to hit a lot. I think it made us increase our physicality and our guys wanted to make some more hits.”
As for the other Westman schools, the Neepawa Tigers and Dauphin Clippers lost ‘B’ event consolation semifinal games to the Eagles and Portage Trojans respectively.
The Virden Golden Bears and the tournament host Crocus Plainsmen suffered ‘C’ event consolation semifinal setbacks to the Kelvin Clippers and Garden Valley Zodiaks.
The Swan Valley Tigers – who also compete in the Westman High School Hockey League – edged out the Morris Mavericks in a 4-3 contest to capture the ‘C’ event crown.
The Garden City Fighting Gophers won the ‘A’ event for the second straight tournament as they doubled up the St. John’s-Ravenscourt Eagles by a score of 4-2.
» Twitter: @lpunkari