'96 Peewee's win back to back Tournaments!, News (Hamilton Jr Bulldogs)

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'96 Peewee's win back to back Tournaments!
Submitted By Webmaster on Monday, January 5, 2009
Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs ’96 Major Peewee AAA team are Champions again with back to back Tournament wins and made history with a 3-peat

First a hometown Championship win in early December andthen a 3-peat Championship win at the Burlington Golden Horseshoe lateDecember!  Some would say that it was itwas long overdue for this team since their last tournament win in 2006.  But for the coaches and players of theHamilton Jr. Bulldogs Major Peewee team, it was well worth the wait.   

This young team of 17 twelve year old boys, shined as theywent 4 and 0 in the round robin of the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs Classic Dec. 4th-7thand continued their dominance by beating Elgin Middlesex 4 to 1 in theChampionship game.  Overall, theyoutscored their opponents 28 to 8 with the best goals for and against averageof the 9 teams in the Peewee division. 

Despite their fatigue from the holidays, the excitementsets in as the Jr. Bulldogs get ready to play their first game of the 40thAnnual Golden Horseshoe tournament on Dec. 27th.  But they know that this journey will be amuch longer and tough one as there are 18 teams in the Peewee division and theyneed to finish 1st in their group to earn a spot in thesemi-finals.  The Jr. Bulldogs come outstrong and win 4 of their 5 round robin games, earning first place in theirgroup.   

By this point, the playersstart to realize that they have a chance of a 3-peat Championship, but no onespeaks of it in case it turns their luck around.  They go into the semi-final game against theDon Mills Flyers very humble but had to leave everything they had on the ice toearn them a 4 to 3 victory.  They knewthe Championship game against Huron Perth would be even more difficult laterthat afternoon. 

Perhaps it was the “All Star”introductions they received at the start of the game, or simply the fact thatthey wanted to make history that day. These young boys came out with adrenaline pumping, intensity and shearheart.  Offensively, they were moving thepuck fantastically and defensively, they did not give the Huron Perth Lakersany chances for the first 30 minutes of the game.  They were leading 7 to 0 going into the 3rdperiod, but they knew that they still had 15 minutes to go and needed to play avery defensive game in the last period. This would not be a simple task with a team like Huron Perth.  They got off a bit slow and received 3penalties early on.  Unfortunately, HuronPerth took advantage of the power plays and got 3 quick goals, but the Jr.Bulldogs came on even stronger and put another one past the Laker’s goaltenderfor an 8 to 3 victory.

As the last 5 seconds goes on the clock, the boys begintheir celebration.  Some chanted“3-peat…..3-peat”, while other sang along to the song which was playing overthe loud speaker, “We are the Champions.” Larry Moko of the Hamilton Spectator wrote it best on Dec. 31st…..

“When the Hamilton Junior Bulldogs posed for ateam picture after winning the peewee division championship of the BurlingtonGolden Horseshoe AAA Hockey Tournament yesterday, the players didn't know howmany fingers to raise.  Some held up one,as in "We're No. 1," while others thought three or four might be moreappropriate.  "This is a tournamentthat consists of only your major (age group) year," Junior Bulldogs coachStephen Ellis explained. "These players have won championships here allthree times -- at novice, atom and now peewee. That's a pretty bigthing."  "If some had fourfingers up, that might be wishful thinking for their next time around.  "We're coming together as ateam…."We don't have any real superstars. Everybody is buying into thegame plan."

As the tournament organizers congratulated theplayers and coaches, they mentioned that this 1996 team made history thatafternoon on Tuesday Dec. 30th , 2008….they would be the only teamto win the Golden Horseshoe 3 times in a row! 

Each and every player came out and performed at theirabsolute best.  From the forwards, thedefence, and goal-tending, there was not one point of critique…except that theywon it with heart, perseverance and strategy as a team!

Congratulationsto the players and coaches for their hard work and determination!


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