Chapman's Ice Cream Atoms Flying High After Weekend Success, News, Atom, 2012-2013 (Grey-Bruce Highlanders AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Chapman's Ice Cream Atoms Flying High After Weekend Success
Submitted By David Black on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
As the flu slowly attacks its way through this team, the Highlanders knew the battle on the ice must go on. Chapman's Ice Cream Major Atoms were home in Chesley for three games this past weekend against teams ahead of them in the standings and who had beat them earlier in the year.

At noon Saturday, the Highlanders took to the ice against the Buffalo Regals . On this day, we had our full roster, albeit with a couple players in late recovery mode from the flu.  The Highlanders came out flying, totally dominating the first period.  While out shooting the Regals 7-3 and controlling the play for the full period, they were unable to finish and the period would end without any scoring.  (This was starting to look eerily similar to our previous meeting with the Regals where the Highlanders ended up losing 2-0).  Buffalo would strike first around the 10 min. mark of the second.  The Highlanders would continue to battle and as the second wound down, they were finally rewarded with a power play goal on a shot from Zach Wall (Kincardine) and tipped by Nathan Naves (Bruce Peninsula).  This would be all the scoring on this day as both goalies slammed the door on this game.

Following this game the Highlanders, along with their families retired to the bowels of the Chesley arena for a terrific pot luck lunch.  The boys filled themselves to contentment and then turned their focus on the four o'clock rematch with the Regals.

What a rematch it was.  As the flu struck causing this writer to miss the game, I asked several attendees for their analysis.  Grandpa Dave said it was the best he has ever seen an Atom Team play ANYWHERE EVER.  He claimed it was a total team effort from the goalies out.  Another Dad was impressed with the defense and how they pinched at all the perfect moments keeping the Regals hemmed in their own end for extended periods of time.  The forwards were swarming the Regals the whole game relentless on the forecheck.  Our time-keeper couldn't get over how the Regals continually came to the bench with tongues hanging and heads shaking looking totally deflated.  The Highlanders scored two quick goals early in the first and that set the tone for the game as they would cruise to a 5-1 win.  What a great team effort.

Arriving at the rink Sunday, I was a little nervous.  After missing that perfect game on Saturday, I knew that if the Highlanders lost, superstition would put some pressure on me to stay away from the rink for future games.  After all, superstition has caused our banner to go into retirement.

This game was against the Brampton 45's who had opened the season on an eleven game unbeaten streak but had lost a couple recent games to the league’s top teams.  The Highlanders knew they would be hungry to get back in the win column.  Today, the Highlanders bench was shortened as Brayden took up the fight against the flu.  Things started much like they finished off on Saturday.  The Highlanders went on the attack early and often and just over three minutes in, were on the board.  They would add two more in just over two minutes to take an early 3-0 lead.  The momentum soon shifted as the 45's went into desperation hockey.  They stepped it up a little as the Highlanders were back on their heels, comfortable with the 3 goal lead.  Brampton would score two minutes apart to make it a one goal game before the period ended.

The game would remain 3-2 until mid-way through the second when Brampton would strike again on the power-play to even things at 3.  With 5:00 minutes remaining in the second, the Highlanders and their fans were given a huge scare.  Naves would gather the puck at the red line and just as he turned to head up ice he was met by a charging Brampton defender.  He seemed to have no interest in the puck and connected with Nathan's chin using his gloves, elbows and stick.  Naves would go to the ice where he remained for several minutes and the Brampton player was appropriately removed from the game.  Finally, to the relief of everyone, Nathan was able to climb to his feet.  What a great inspiration for his teammates.  On the ensuing power play, the Highlanders would connect to regain the lead.

Heading to the third leading 4-3, the Highlanders were trying to nail this one down for Nathan.  Two minutes in, the 45's would again tie the game following some terrific puck movement around the Highlander end.  However, on this day, the Highlanders would bend but would not break.  They slowly regained the momentum and scored 2 late in the third to take a 6-4 lead and finally dispose of the 45's.

As the Highlanders collected 5 of 6 points against two tough teams they should be extremely proud of their hard work on this very successful weekend.  Next home game is 3:00 Sunday in Markdale. 
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