The Estevan Tarpon Energy peewee Storm battled back to beat the Swift Current Rustlers 5-4 in a shootout at Affinity Place on Sunday to capture the Estevan Peewee Tournament championship.
“That just gives us confidence,” said Storm captain Hayden Lavoie. “We can beat any team.”
The Rustlers rode out to a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the final on a Caleb Stechyshyn marker. Swift Current’s Ashton Collier made it a two-goal game a little over six minutes later by wiring a shot into the top corner that just squeaked between Storm netminder Josh Bittman’s shoulder and the crossbar. Rustlers forward Kaden Reiger notched his team’s third goal 59 seconds into the middle frame before Paisley Arntsen got the club’s fourth tally 31 seconds later.
A couple of disputed penalties and non-calls resulting in the Swift Current coaching staff and fans voicing their displeasure to the referees then forced the officials to throw out a section of Rustlers supporters.
The ruckus seemed to spark the Storm who caught the momentum after the event with Tanyan Strudwick notching his team’s first goal by firing a shot from behind the net off Rustlers goalie Tyler Olfert’s pad and in. Lavoie then made it a two-goal game at the 7:40 mark of the second period by weaving his way through traffic to the front of the Rustlers net where he slid the puck in low on Olfert.
Storm defenceman Denver Sehn said it was this second goal that rallied the team. He said after that they just came back as hard as they could.
Aiden Johnstone got the Storm to within one with 6:27 left in the second period when the penalty killer picked up the puck in the neutral zone, drove down the wing and jammed it into the Rustlers net low stick side. Both teams enjoyed opportunities in the final stanza, but it was Lavoie who would score the tying marker on a near 200-foot rush down the wing before cutting to the net and firing the puck into the far side with 5:15 left to play.
After neither team was able to score the winner in regulation, Stechyshyn had the first chance in the shootout to put his team ahead only to fire a shot wide. Lavoie then potted his opportunity, which coupled with a Collier miss and Sehn score secured the tournament win for the Storm.
“I’m always practising stickhandling at home and I’m always practising my moves and the one time that I got the chance to stickhandle and show my moves I just shot it,” said Lavoie about his shootout goal. “I was kind of frustrated, but at the same time we had just won a championship so I felt pretty good.”