Shawville January 29, 2023
All games in the Midget A division were very close and hard fought games.
It is a pretty interesting story of how our Comets ended up playing in the A division. At the beginning of the season, they attempted to register in the U18 B category of the Pontiac Provincial Tournament, since their team plays in the Upper Ottawa Valley Minor Hockey league which is classified as B. However that division was full and already had a waiting list.
So they proceeded to book other tournaments and did not think they would have a chance to play in this prestigious and historic tournament that has been a staple for Pontiac players for decades.
They noticed some posts on Facebook saying that tournament organizers were looking for more teams to participate in the A division of the U18 category. The Comets let it be known that they would be willing to step up and play against those higher level teams feeling they had a group that would want to take on this challenge.
In their first game, they played against the Nepean Raiders that they had seen earlier at a season opening tournament in Pembroke. That was their first weekend on the ice and they were blown out 8-0 in that game. So they were definitely expecting a difficult start to this tournament. The coaching staff wanted to do their best to keep it close and avoid being embarrassed. The kids had other ideas. Goaltender Jean-Michel Landry stood on his head and the whole team played outstanding defensively and with the lone goal in the game coming from Venka Bonnerot, the Comets pulled off a stunning upset, winning the opener 1-0.
In game two they played the hometown team and long time rival Pontiac Lions A club. In a hard fought game that saw both goalies steal the show, the Comets had jumped out to an early lead with a blast by Jordan Acres-Levesque, but the Lions Lucas Barre scored in the final moments of regulation and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Comets advanced to the A division final with a semi-final round bye and awaited news on who they would play in the finals. Nepean won their semi-final game to earn a shot at redemption against the Comets who had shocked them one day earlier.
The final was a gritty battle between these new rivals. Both teams wanted it. The Comets wanted to prove the earlier victory was not a fluke. They wanted to prove that they could win under pressure. With the historic PPT Cup awaiting the winner, they fought through fatigue, stress, equipment malfunctions, and injuries to play their best game of the year against a very talented hard working Raiders team. It was 0-0 going into the third and the boys faced the type of pressure they had never had to deal with before. Hugo Boisvert gave the Comets an early third period lead, but the Raiders answered very soon after taking the wind out of the Comets sails. Late in the game, Comets defenseman Javier Morin activated from the blue line and made a run up the ice and blasted the go ahead goal. The last two minutes was without question the toughest test any of these Comets players had ever been involved in. Following a late penalty for the Comets, the Raiders pulled their goalie and in the last two minutes, the Raiders kept the puck in the Comets zone playing 6 men against 4. Landry again stood on his head and the boys fought for their lives until finally hearing the buzzer at which point the stress faded, and the elation took over. An amazing game to close out a great weekend of hockey that was extremely well run by the organizers.
Tim Ferrigan is the manager of the U18A Comets and father of team Captain, Tyson Ferrigan.
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