By Margaret Speer
Special to Advance-Times
Dec. 27 was the day to skate off the Christmas dinners and pumpkin pie in the Wingham Novice Local League Tournament. You could say that the kids came out a little slow for the early 8 a.m. game against Lucknow, but they were merely keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. They did so until the third period when they started to put some points on the scoreboard with two goals scored by Caleb MacLean, assists going to Griffin Dickson on the first goal and Cameron TeRaa and Dickson on the second. Justin Keyes was strong in net, and found himself with the shutout. Final score was 2-0.
TeRaa, Ben Speer, Zackary Sweiger and Evan DeJong were kept busy on defence in game two against Ripley. Ripley scored first but it wasn’t for the lack of trying by Wingham forwards Charity Smith and Damian McBurney.
Even though Wingham’s TeRaa and MacLean found the back of the net (assists going to Tyler Becker and Zakary O’Handley) Ripley secured their lead with an empty netter and a final score of 4-2.
Now Wingham had to sit and await their fate. The game between Ripley and Lucknow decided whether Wingham played in the “A” or the “B” final. Ripley and Lucknow tied at a goal apiece, giving Ripley one more point and sending Wingham to the “B” side.
Spirits were high and the kids were pumped and ready to meet Howick in the “B” championship game.
Hats off – literally – to Becker who scored a hat-trick with assists going to Smith, O’Handley, Jaxon Breckenridge and TeRaa.
A couple of Howick shots did cross the goal line but Wingham stayed strong, worked as a team, and won the “B” division title with a final score of 3-2.
The trophy keepsakes were an extra Christmas thrill for the kids. They went home ecstatic but undeniably tired and looking forward to plenty of hockey in 2013.