Major Midgets are OMHA Champions, News (Huntsville Minor Hockey)

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Major Midgets are OMHA Champions
Submitted By Kelly Farnsworth on Monday, March 25, 2019
Your MBRP Major Midget Otters returned home from Mount Brydges as OMHA Champions after game 4 of the Final Round of the OMHA Playdowns.

Every member of this team stepped up to contribute to this success - the depth, hard work and supportive team play is what made the difference and earned these boys their Red Hats.

Congratulations to all players, bench staff and families as this type of success was made possible because everyone involved pulled together and made it happen.

The series began in Huntsville on the weekend of March 16 and 17.

Game 1 saw the Cougars hit the ice all over the Otters. It didn't take the Otters long to match their new opponent and step their game up to the level this series threw at them. With the Otters firing on all 4 cylinders, they finished the game out with a decisive 4-1 win in front of a supportive home town crowd.

The following day saw the teams hit the ice again for Game 2. The Cougars appeared to be well rested and ready to roll. They hit the ice flying, with the Otters matching this intensity. This game saw lots of end to end action, with many saves at each end of the ice. With mere seconds remaining in regulation time of a scoreless game, the Cougars managed to find the Otters' net with a deflected shot and the game ended with a 1-0 win for the Cougars.

Game 3 and 4 saw the Otters on the road for the weekend of March 23-24. The families gathered at the Summit Centre Saturday morning to hop on the bus to make the trek to Mount Brydges.

With the long travel day, the Otters hit the ice ready to take back the game on a rink new to them all. Mount Brydges was ready to play also. The game started off with a fury of speed, hard hits and end to end play. Huntsville opened the books with the first goal of the game, but the lead was not theirs to keep as Mount Brydges matched their goal, bringing the score to a 1-1 tie. The game was not for the faint of heart as the fans in the stands were holding their breath and on the edge of their seats for the entire game, with many saying that was one of the most exciting games they had ever watched. Huntsville had two goals disallowed in a game that goals did not come easily. The Otters prevailed and when the final buzzer rang, took the well deserved win with a 2-1 score.

The Otters came back to the Cougars' barn on Sunday determined to finish off the series and bring the hardware home. The Otters came out strong and took control of the game early on scoring 2 unanswered goals in the first period. The Otters found the back of the Cougars' net for a third time in the second period, but the Cougars did not just roll over and they countered with a goal before the flood. The Cougars knew it was now or never and they increased their intensity and aggression in a last ditch effort to attempt to swing the game back Mount Brydges' way - this began to work for them and they managed to find the back of the Otters' net once again, narrowing the Otters' lead to 3-2. Seeing this game plan work for them, the Cougars experimented with taking a few more risks physically to try and knock the Otters off their game and take control. It appeared the Officials felt this was pushed maybe a little too far and sent a few Cougars to the box. The Otters capitalized on this and found the net for a fourth time and were able to hold the Cougars to 2. Game 4 proved to be another exciting nail biter for fans on both sides and when the final buzzer rang, the Otters were crowned OMHA Champions with the 4-2 win.

Finishing out the season on a bus ride home to Huntsville (including a police escort from the town limits) with red hats on their heads, gold medals around their necks and the OMHA championship trophy and banner to bring home to the Summit Centre is a pretty sweet way to end a long and successful season for this hard working bunch of boys. This final game has left them with a 43-7-6 overall record for the 2018-2019 season and a bunch of blonde haired boys with some pretty big smiles on their faces. The coveted red hats are the ultimate accomplishment for every team that wins them, but it is felt particularly special for this group who had 13 boys that this was their first red hat, including our 10 third year boys who we have to say goodbye to after this season as they have aged out of Minor Hockey in a blink of an eye - way to finish out on top! The memories are forever and you have made many of them this year and along the way!

Our team was very saddened to hear of the passing of the Huntsville Otters' biggest fan, Audlee Tredgett, over this past weekend. We will never forget the sound of his bell ringing for the Otters and his cheer of "Hoo-ray for Huntsville" with both arms high over his head. We dedicate our championship in honour of Audlee's long standing support of all our Otters. Rest easy our friend.

The Otters would like to take this opportunity to thank their team sponsor, MBRP, and all the very generous businesses and families who supported them all season and again in their final fundraising efforts to fund the rental of a coach bus to take them to their two final games this past weekend. Without the generosity of this wonderful community, the cost to participate in organized sports becomes prohibitive. Huntsville rocks, thank you all!

GO OTTERS GO!!





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