10s and 14s come to a close. A Few Thrillers!

by Daryn Goodwin

Day 7 NARCh Finals Championship Recaps

By: Raine Hernandez

TAYLOR – It’s getting to that time of the tournament where more divisions are starting to take shape, many teams are currently in the act of attempting to win a championship. With that being said, there were plenty of championship games taking place at Taylor Sportsplex on the seventh day at the 2019 East Coast NARCh Finals.

14U Platinum Final – Konixx Detroit vs. Tropical Bordercats

It was an all-Michigan showdown for the 14U Platinum championship, as the Konixx Detroit team squared off against the Tropical Bordercats. Both teams had 3-0-1 record in round robin, with both teams earning a draw from the same opponent, Farm Tough Red.

Due to goals against, the Bordercats earned a bye straight to the championship, meanwhile, Konixx had themselves a rematch with Farm Tough. Luckily, they defeated Peter Dale’s squad decisively, 5-2, setting themselves up as the other team who would compete for the Platinum title.

Right from the drop of the puck, both teams were looking to get on the scoreboard first. The Bordercats took two penalties in the opening period, however, due to the strong penalty-killing work of the Bordercats, Konixx was unable to capitalize.

Shortly after both penalties were killed, Zion Green netted his own rebound on a breakaway, giving the Tropical Bordercats the 1-0 lead. With 35 seconds remaining in the opening period, the Bordercats would score again doubling their lead to 2 goals after 1 period of play.

Despite the lead, momentum would start to turn to Konixx in the second period.

After drawing a penalty, the Bordercats retaliated on the call, giving Konixx a 4-minute powerplay, an opportunity where they would find a way to capitalize. Christian Kim converted on a backdoor feed from Matt Mania to cut the lead to 1, and just a few minutes later, Mania tucked it glove side on a rush to even the score at 2.

Konixx Detroit would not stop there, with 3:38 remaining, Jason Piwarczyk completed the tic-tac-toe play from Kai Janviriya and Nick Puricelli to give head coach Nick Boyarsky the go-ahead lead. The goal would prove to be the difference maker, as Konixx would hold on to the lead following Mike Modelski’s great play between the pipes, finishing off the Bordercats with the 5-2 victory.

14U Gold Final – Detroit Labeda Storm vs. Mission Bauer Bordercats 04’s

The entertaining championship games would not stop there with the 14U Gold Final had the Detroit Labeda Storm challenge the Mission Bauer Bordercats 04’s for the gold medal. Easily, this game was regarded as the most entertaining game in the entire tournament, with this game being the longest game in the tournament as well.

The Labeda Storm came out of the gates strong; Jacob Hill got the Storm on the board 2 minutes into the game, giving his team the 1-0 lead. The Bordercats would bounce back later into the period, when Sean Hastings buried to even the score at 1, setting up an incredible second period.

The Bordercats would take the lead to start the second period, after Johnny Koehler found Kyle Langevin to go up 1 goal on the Storm. While the Bordercats were trying to hold onto the lead, Ben Hammond would not let his team down equalizing the score after a great play from Hill evened the score at 2.

Yet, just 40 seconds later, Zach Stryjecki restored the Bordercats’ lead, giving the Storm 4 minutes to try and tie the hockey game, and the Storm did just that, when Hill (who was all over the floor the entire game) tied it up with a minute and 48 seconds remaining.

It would take an extra 2 periods of incredible hockey to decide the winner, as goaltenders Lukas Dandurano and Jeffrey Buckley stood on their heads to stop everything, until 6:47 left into the 4th period, Hayden Daidone for the Storm, went through the whole team and became the hero to win the U14 Gold title.  

10U Gold Final - Mission Bauer Bordercats vs. Cayman Islands Blue

If one was to talk about the best games in the tournament, there would most certainly be a conversation regarding the 10U Gold Final as the Mission Bauer Bordercats squared off against the Cayman Islands Blue team, led by Jaxon Cover. When the two teams met in the round robin, it was Cover who scored all six goals in a 6-4 victory over the Bordercats.

There’s a saying in sports that is commonly used around tournaments, “It’s hard to beat the same team twice”, which is exactly what the Bordercats showed in the championship game, looking for revenge.

With 2 goals from Jack Arnold and a goal each from Brady Chippa and Wagner Bruckman, the Bordercats had themselves a comforting 4-1 lead near the end of the opening period.

Now enter Jaxon Cover.

Cover would not let this Bordercats team come out with the victory, scoring 4 goals to tie the game up at 4. Once Chippa scored to make it 5-4, Cover came down yet again to tie the game up at 5. However, the Bordercats took the lead once more, when Aidan Gray shot it top-shelf to give them the lead with 3:29 remaining.

Not a shocker, with just 1:11 remaining, Cover went through the Bordercats defense and scored to push the game into overtime, single-handedly pulling off one of the greatest individual performances in NARCh history.

Cover’s magic would not be enough, as Arnold found himself alone in the slot and netted the game-winning goal, completing his hat-trick, and pulling off the upset to win the 10U Gold division.

Although it may have been an offensive game, both goaltenders, Noah Young for the Bordercats and Thatcher Duty for the Cayman Islands were lights out in the championship game, making those necessary and important saves when it mattered.

10U Silver Final – Cayman Islands Red vs. Fieldhouse Bordercats

The 10U Silver division had the Cayman Islands Red team face-off against the Fieldhouse Bordercats. Unfortunately, their game did not bring out the same energy and excitement that the previous game had delivered, due to the reason that the Bordercats would control most of the hockey game.

Luke Larson and Matt Hollock led the way for the Bordercats, scoring 2 goals each, while goaltender Drake Enoland was perfect, securing the 10U silver title, making it a sweep for Matt Koleski’s Bordercat program in the 10U division.

14U Silver – Verbero Rogue 402 vs. Mission Bauer Bordercats

In the 14U Silver final, the Verbero Rogue had themselves a date with the Mission Bauer Bordercats, which was a duel between both netminders. Tyler Long for the Bordercats and Danny Mooney for Verbero were solid in the opening frame, not allowing a single goal against.

It would not be until late into the second period where the first goal was scored when Jake Taylor broke the shutout streak to give the Bordercats the 1-0 lead. The Rogue would storm to tie it up, after Jack Briesinger got one past Long to even the score up at 1.

With 2:22 remaining, Bordercats star Mason Giza converted on his opportunity, which ended to be the game-winner as the Bordercats secured the victory and will take back to Joe Dumars Fieldhouse yet another NARCh cup.