Greavette Midget AE Bears - International Silver Stick Finalists, News (South Muskoka Minor Hockey Association)

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Greavette Midget AE Bears - International Silver Stick Finalists
Submitted By Bryce Davidson on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Best on best. That’s what the International Silver Stick tournament is known as. Teams from across North America, as far away as California and Florida, descend on Niagara Falls for this 4-day contest. Invitations have to be earned by first winning one of the many hundred regional qualifying tournaments held since this season’s start. Your South Muskoka Greavette Midget AE Bears punched their own ticket by winning the Collingwood Silver Stick regional qualifier back in November. Now, despite the fact that these Bears have a league record of 14-3-1, have won two of the three tournaments they’ve entered this season, and also won their MPS championship, they just don’t do anything the easy way. 

Their loyal fan base has come to expect these roller coaster rides, and has learned to self-medicate in various ways at these tournaments to cope. This was another wild ride.
Opening against the provincially top ranked Petrolia Oilers in game one, the Bears played maybe their best game of the season to date, holding off the Oilers with tight play and outstanding goaltending for a 2-1 win. For game two that same day though, we boarded that roller coaster again. After falling behind 3-0 quickly against the Mount Brydges Cougars, the Bears clawed their way back and eked out a 4-4 tie. Day two saw the Bears again fall behind 3-0 early to the Tillsonburg Tornadoes, only to surge back for a 5-3 win and lock-in a bye to the semi-finals with their top-two round robin undefeated finish. 
While our parents and siblings were frazzled by this point, the Bears themselves were unfazed. Between vaporizing opponent’s leads and their daily team-only dinners , not even 5am hotel fire alarms rattled these young men. They were dialled in.
Day three saw the Bears face off against the Strathroy Jr Rockets in a semi-final contest. It was another best effort for our Bears, dominating play from the puck drop, earning a 6-4 win, and punching their ticket to the finals. We all knew this would be our toughest game though. The host Pelham Panthers, third ranked provincially, had bullied their way to the final game, winning every game, scoring 15 goals themselves and giving up only two goals against through their four previous games. 
After another night of parent self-medicating and player-only team dinners, Sunday delivered a classic game and another wild ride. Our Bears fell behind 3-0 early and the home town crowd was euphoric, anticipating a romp for their own team. And then the Bears, once again, began to claw their way back. Tying the game up 3-3 in the third period, the Bears had vaporized yet another opponent’s lead. Ten minutes of the first four-on-four OT period decided nothing. The second OT period, although filled with chances for both sides, also yielded no decision. In the third OT period though, the Pelham team scored a beautiful goal to end the game. 
Although dejected by the loss, the Bears tipped their helmets to a great opponent, accepted their Finalist banner and medals, and quietly hoped for another chance to play this Pelham team for another big prize, maybe late in March...

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