A trip outside of their comfort zone did wonders for the Delaware Ducks on Sunday in Reston, Va.
The Ducks won the USA Hockey Tier II 12 & Under Conference 1A National Championship with a 3-2 double overtime victory against the St. Louis Junior Stars.
“I told them that they were up against a very talented team, both in skills and size. I stressed to the players that in order to win, they need to play outside of their comfort zone and fight hard,” Ducks coach Mark Cardillo said.
With just 5:26 left in the second overtime, Ducks forward Christopher Bouchard scored the game-winning goal.
“All I was thinking was that I was trying to put it in the net. My legs were so tired but I had to fight through it,” Bouchard said. “It was my most memorable goal, but not the nicest one ever. In other games, I’ve had a better grasp on a target of where to shoot, but this time it was all luck and I took a chance — and it worked.”
The Ducks began the tournament with an 11-0 win over the Pelham Panthers and never looked back. The Ducks finished with four shutouts on their road to the title.
St. Louis, however, was not going to let the Ducks record yet another shutout. In fact, the Stars were leading 2-1 in the third period. Just 2:08 after the Stars took the lead, Ducks captain Bryan Henry answered with an even-strength goal that sent the game into overtime.
Ducks forwards Tiernan Seningen and Brodie Deysher lead the 1A Conference in points. Seningen had 19 points (12 goals, 7 assists) and Deysher had 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists). Captain Bryan Henry, who recorded a goal and an assist in the final game, said he was never worried about the outcome.
“My only thought was to push my teammates to get the winning goal. I always knew we could do it,” he said.
As the players celebrated, Cardillo also began to soak in the moment.
“I told them to do it for each other, for this is the last time they are all going to play together as a team. I told them to look to their left and to their right and play for each other every second of the game,” Cardillo said.
And that is just what they did.
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): 12 & Under