Warriors win home tournament

CARP – Last year the West Carleton Warriors peewee A team was known for its incredible accomplishments off the ice. At this year’s first tournament, the team showed they are pretty good on the ice too, bringing home the gold.

Last year the Warriors became community heroes and national celebrities after winning the Good Deeds Cup and $100,000 for tornado relief. Last Sunday (Nov. 17) the peewee Warriors won their own tournament held all weekend long at the W. Erskine Johnston Arena. And it was a thriller.

It was the first tournament the hockey club ever hosted and the Warrior’s atom, peewee, bantam and midget age groups were involved.

For the peewee squad, the Warriors opened the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Leitrim – a team that hadn’t lost a game all season. Things picked up quickly though as the Warriors defeated Kanata 3-1 and Nepean 6-2 to end the roundrobin portion of the tournament with two wins and one loss, good enough for second of the four teams.

The Warriors celebrate after scoring in overtime to win the championship. Photo by Jake Davies
The Warriors celebrate after scoring in overtime to win the championship. Photo by Jake Davies

The Warriors would be facing off against Leitrim for the championship.

Leitrim opened the scoring about halfway through the first period. The Warriors tied the game up halfway through the second on a goal from Dylan Morin with Jack Gilmour and Nolan Neuheimer getting the assists.

The Warriors took the lead in the third period with Morin picking up his second goal of the game. Jayden Dambrowitz was given the assist.

Leitrim wouldn’t go quietly though and scored the game-tying goal with a minute-and-a-half left in the game. The championship game would be decided in overtime. Morin would complete the hat trick with the tournament winning goal assisted by Lukas Hart and Blake Voelker.

Coach Jamie Rondeau told the team to take a victory lap with the trophy.

“They don’t know how, they never done a victory lap before in their life,” he joked.

Well that’s not entirely true. The Warriors, including Rondeau who was an assistant coach the year before, took a victory lap last March on the Rideau Canal after winning the Good Deeds Cup.

Last year, on the ice, the Warriors did have a tough season. But that was last year.

“It was great,” Rondeau told West Carleton Online after the game. “We started a little slow and didn’t play our best but as the tournament built so did our confidence.”

He called the 6-2 win over Nepean the team’s best game of the season.

“It showed what we could be,” Rondeau said. “It was a ton of fun. The kids deserve it.”

He said beating a team that hasn’t lost a game all season in overtime was “pretty special,” and winning their first ever home tournament was also “pretty special.”

“This year were getting a little more luck on the ice,” Rondeau said.

The home tournament was also the team’s first tournament of the year. They will be heading to Bradford in two weeks for their second.

“We’ll see how we handle the road,” Rondeau said.

Meanwhile the regular season has been underway for a couple of months and the team has a 3-4-3 record.

“We’re doing pretty good,” Rondeau said. “There’s good parity in the league. We’ve had a chance to win every game.”

Jackson Cahill was named the tournament MVP. The Warrior atom A team took home bronze in their age group.