Ravens Atom Majors Take Silver, News (Essex Minor Hockey)

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Ravens Atom Majors Take Silver
Submitted By sfuerth on Sunday, April 10, 2016
This past weekend The Essex Minor Hockey Association played host to the Ontario Hockey Federation Atom A Championships.  As the 2015 OMHA Champions, our Essex Ravens would take on the best Atom Major A Hockey teams from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA), Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) and the Alliance League.    


 On Thursday night Essex Minor Hockey welcomed everyone by treating players, parents, coaches and special guests from all five teams to a memorable "Champions Banquet" at the Fogular Furlan Club.  Everyone in attendance had a good meal and a great evening, but it was clear that everyone was anxious to play some hockey on Friday Morning.     Essex started out the tournament with a Friday morning 3-1 win over their league rivals, the OMHA Champion Riverside Rangers.  Riverside went into this tournament as the clear favourite to take home the hardware and this was a huge victory for our boys.  In game 2, Essex defeated the Northern Ontario Hockey Association Champions Temiskaming Shores Puckhounds by a score of 9-4.  In game 3, Essex defeated the Brantford 99ers from the GTHL by a score of 5-3.  
In game 4, Essex continued their strong play by defeating the Alliance Champion Vaughn Panthers by a score of 5-3.  Essex finished the round robin undefeated and sitting atop the standings going into the semi-finals.     In a fantastic Saturday night game, Temiskaming Shores defeated Brantford to earn their spot in the semi-finals against Essex the next morning.  Early Sunday morning, Essex came out flying and took control of the game from the opening whistle; however, a very talented Temiskaming Shores team didn't travel nine hours just to roll over and go home.  The Puckhounds battled hard to tie the game at 3; soon after though, just like the first meeting of these two teams, they could not keep up the pace for three full periods.  Essex won the semi-final by a score of 7-4.     As it turned out, after losing to Essex in game 1 of the tournament, the Riverside Rangers found their stride and finished their round robin with a 3-1 record in convincing fashion.  Riverside went on to win their semi-final against The Vaughn Panthers by a score of 4-2 in order to punch their ticket to the Finals against Essex later in the day.    

It wasn't lost on anyone that Riverside had won three of four regular season games between the two teams and had eliminated Essex from the OMHA Playdowns earlier in the season.  From the opening whistle, both teams battled hard, but it was Essex that scored first to make it 1-0 in the second period.  Essex carried their 1-0 lead into the third but a disallowed goal, combined with several missed opportunities on the power play, allowed Riverside back into the game.  As the seconds ticked away both goalies came up with some big saves to keep the score tied at one.  Unfortunately for Essex, with 1:38 left in the third period, a Riverside pass from just right of the Ravens net took an unlucky bounce and ended up in the back of the net.  Essex pulled their goalie in the final minute of play, but it was too little too late and the game would end as a 2-1 win for the now 2016 OMHA / 2016 OHF CHAMPION Riverside Rangers.  

A big congratulations goes out to the players, coaches and parents from each of the participating teams on having a great season and for being a part of the 2016 OHF Championships here in Essex.  

Thank you to the Essex Minor Hockey Association, EMHA parents, fans and all the dedicated volunteers that made this OHF Championship tournament one to remember.  We are extremely proud of our Association, and especially proud of our Atom Major Essex Ravens!
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