By Tina Comeau
The N.S. Southwest Thunder team won the silver medal of the Maine Hockey Development Peewee AAA Tournament in Portland over the Easter weekend.
Although the team didn’t win the gold medal, Thunder mounted a comeback in the third period of the championship game that saw the team overcome a six-goal deficit by scoring five goals in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Playing Maine in the championship game, the Southwest Thunder team – which is made up of players stretching from Yarmouth and Clare to Lunenburg County – quickly found itself trailing 5-0 in the first period against the same team they had played to a 4-4 tie one day earlier.
Trailing by six goals with running time headed into the third period, it seemed as if the team had dug itself an insurmountable hole to climb out of.
Thunder got onto the scoreboard with 10:27 remaining and from there went on to score four more goals at full strength, on the powerplay and while shorthanded to close the gap to 6-5 with just under two minutes remaining in the game. The final score ended up 7-5 in Maine’s favour when the home team scored in the final minute on Thunder’s empty net.
Scoring for Thunder in the championship game were Ben Charles with two goals, Jaden Watkins, Cadelin Rose and Mason Beck.
The peewee AAA Southwest Thunder team is part of the Atlantic Hockey Group spring league. The team has nine players on it from Yarmouth and Clare: Justin Surette, Ben Charles, Jaden Watkins, Evan Saulnier, Ethan Doucette, Brendan Amiro, Mario Boudreau, Leon Bouchard and Maxime Bertrand (goalie). Two players are from Shelburne County: Cadelin Rose and Keiran O'Conner. One player is from the Valley: Max Longmire. The rest of the team hails from Liverpool to the Bridgewater/Lunenburg area and includes Mason Beck, Cameron Lohnes, Tyler Cross, Rylan Mayo and Greyden Weagle (goalie). The team is coached by Terry Beck, Cy Mayo and Colin Watkins.
There were seven teams in the Portland tournament. Southwest Thunder finished the round robin with a record of three wins and one tie. Here is a scoring recap of the round robin games. (Note: not all assists were recorded on game sheets.)
Southwest Thunder 6 – Central Lightning 1
Goals: Brendan Amiro, Justin Surette, Max Longmire, Ethan Doucette, Ben Charles and Leon Bouchard. Assists not recorded on game sheet.
Southwest Thunder 5 – Screaming Eagles 3
Goals: Justin Surette, Leon Bouchard, Mason Beck, Brendan Amiro and Ben Charles. Assists: Ben Charles, Mason Beck, Jaden Watkins and Max Longmire.
Southwest Thunder 13 – Portland Junior Pirates 2
Goals: Cameron Lohnes (3), Brendan Amiro (3), Mason Beck (2), Rylan Mayo, Cadelin Rose, Ethan Doucette, Tyler Cross and Max Longmire. Assists: Justin Surette (2), Tyler Cross, Leon Bouchard (2), Rylan Mayo (2), Brendan Amiro, Keiran O’Conner (2), Max Longmire, Mason Beck and Ben Charles.
Southwest Thunder 4 – Maine 4
Goals: Cameron Lohnes (2), Rylan Mayo and Mario Boudreau. Assists: Ben Charles (2) and Mason Beck.
Southwest Thunder plays three tournaments during its spring season. The next one is in Moncton May 2-4.