Peaking at the Right Time?!, News, Bantam, 2013-2014 (Grey-Bruce Highlanders AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Peaking at the Right Time?!
Submitted By Rob Lee on Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Grey Bruce Highlander First Concrete Ltd. Bantams have enjoyed a recent resurgence and the result has left them in or on top of recent competition!

Ask any long time coach and they will tell you that the key to a successful season lays in the ability to peak at the right time.  Hopefully a disappointing season can be turned around with some late success and the Bantams play of late hints of just such a scenario.

This recent run began with a loss to the Guelph Gryphons but the game was played with enough grit and opportunity for the Highlanders to leave with a positive feeling.  Guelph jumped out front early to a 1 -0 lead but the Highlanders were able to tie it with a goal from Michael Fiegehen with assists to Troy Weber and Jordan Taylor. Guelph stormed back with two goals early in the third period but the First Concrete Ltd bantams refused to give in. A late goal by Jakob Lee from Jordan Taylor with his second assist of the game brought the Highlanders within one and a spirited push left the outcome in doubt right to the end.  In fact, a late 3 on 1 by the Highlanders almost stole a point on the road but the game finished a 3-2 loss to the Gryphons.

The shorthanded Highlanders next faced the Burlington Eagles.  An always heated rivalry meant the boys meant business and came out flying.  They repeated pushed the Eagles back to their own end with a relentless forecheck and finally were able to take the lead on an unassisted rush by Michael Fiegehen.  Zach Tupker added two goals with assists to Noah Johnson and Josh Urbshott.  The Eagles stormed back to score twice but a combination of strong goaltending by Ryan Winter and stingy defensive team play held them off.   The end result was a very satisfying 3-2 win.

The next day saw a continuation of a season long grudge match with the Hamilton Bulldogs.  The Highlanders appeared eager to build on their recent success and started out with a determined effort to outwork Hamilton.  There effort paid off in many ways as the hemmed the Bulldogs in their own end for the entire first period, repeatedly forcing their opponents to take penalties.  Unfortunately, the only measuring stick that matters is the scoreboard and Hamilton was able to turn their shorthanded situations into a 2-0 lead on three breakaways.  They were able to add another before Troy Weber banged in a rebound with an assist to Jakob Lee.  Lee would score in the third on nice power play work from Weber and Dalton Black but the Bulldogs added their own marker on a 5 on 3.  Sometimes you don't get what you deserve and, despite vastly outplaying their opponents, the Highlanders had to settle with a 4 - 2 loss.

The next weekend saw the Highlanders face the Bulldogs again with the hopes that they could repeat the performance but change the outcome.  Hamilton seemed ready for the Grey Bruce team this time and jumped out to an early 2 - 0 lead.  Jakob Lee would respond before the end of the first from Will Rickerby and Brayden Thompson.  The Bulldogs would add to their lead in the second before Lee scored his second of the game.  Will Rickerby delivered the pass for his second point of the game.  The Highlanders continued to press but the Hamilton goal tender held his team in it.  When the Bulldogs added an empty net goal they sealed the deal in a 4 - 2 win over the Highlanders.

Stinging from having nothing to show from two previous strong efforts the First Concrete Ltd. Bantams needed a couple of breaks to give a sign that things were turning around and these breaks needed to come against the Halton Hurricanes.  The Hurricanes had made a habit of turning in their best efforts against our Highlanders but when Josh Urbshott flipped a pop fly from centre ice over the goalie and into the net for an error, one got the feeling that things might just turn out different this time around.  It didn't look that way for long as Halton bounced back to take a 2-1 lead on the powerplay but Will Rickerby was able to tie it up in the second from Michael Fiegehen and Logan Swanton.  Noah Solinger made it 3-2 Highlanders from Danny Skinner and Troy Weber added to the lead with an unassisted marker when the Halton goaltenders nightmare continued with a giveaway onto Webers stick.  Weber was able to put the game away with a power play goal from Noah Solinger and Jordan Taylor and the Highlanders walked away with a 5 -2 victory.  

Hopefully the recent strong play continues as the First Concrete Ltd Bantams complete their season with two more games and head to the final tournament.  The time to peak is now!

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