Playing with one goaltender can do wonders for a team, especially if that goalie can usually be found standing on his head.
The Atlanta Fire beat the Burlington Bobcats 8-1 in the 12 & Under Tier II Conference 2A National Championship game on Sunday in Reston, Va., thanks to some stellar play in net.
The 2A Conference contained only eight teams, but no one was able to stand in the way of Atlanta. The Fire marched unbeaten through the tournament by using just one goalie. Doug Giles played all six games for the Fire between the pipes. He made 107 saves and recorded a .915 save percentage.
“Usually there are two of us on the team, but I was the only one who could make it to Nationals. I knew it was going to be a long, hard week, but I am proud of the way I played, and I am proud of my team. We deserved this,” Giles said.
The Fire scored 38 goals against their opponents and allowed only 10 during the tournament.
Against the Bobcats, the Fire had 11 power plays, but could only convert once. The Fire also scored on a penalty shot.
The Fire found that teamwork proved to me the most important ingredient in their march to the title.
“I hope they realize that when you work hard, good things happen. I want them all to grow up to be good teammates. When you work together as a team, a national championship is what you can accomplish,” Atlanta coach Scott Pearson said.
Most of the Atlanta players have spent the last several years playing in the program.
“Our whole coaching staff has had the privilege of coaching most of these boys for five years, so it is nice to see it all come together,” Pearson said. “We are very proud of these boys, they worked extremely hard and it is a well-deserved win.”
Win or lose, the Fire knew they had something special.
“It’s not everyday that your teammates become your best friends. We have all known each other for years. Our lives together are more than hockey. It’s about a friendship,” said forward Pierce Crawford, who led Atlanta with 16 points (10 goals, 6 assists).
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): 12 & Under