Stingers major atoms ace the season

April 12, 2017   ·   0 Comments

The Beeton Stingers major atom local league team captured the Simcoe Local League championship after a stellar year that saw the squad play the entire season without a loss. The team also won the Regional Silver Stick in Haliburton.
Submitted Photo

By Brian Lockhart
The Beeton Stingers Major atom local league team have done what few Atom division teams have accomplished.
They went the entire season without a single loss and claimed the Simcoe Region Local League championship.
With head coach Mike Sommers leading the way on the bench, the team went 25-0-1 for the regular season to finish in first place.
They then went through the playoffs undefeated to claim the championship.
It’s rare to see a team of this age – 10- and 11-year-olds – with a couple of nine-year-old players who played up to be on the team, work so well together that they can win every game – except for one game that ended in a tie.
Assistant coach Ian Michel said that at the beginning of the season they didn’t even have enough players to make a team but people started calling around to recruit players.
Some of the players were new to the game and one was playing his first season on the ice.
“We pulled in kids from different areas or we wouldn’t have a team. They didn’t even have a goalie to start,” Mr. Michel said. “It was a great atmosphere to play in. It is really remarkable how this team gelled. From skilled players to new players this team had it all.”
After ending the regular season in first place the Atoms went into the playoffs, sweeping the first and second round then claiming the championship in another undefeated series over Lefroy.
“We had great offence, phenomenal defence, and great goaltending,” Mr. Michel said. “It was all due to the great atmosphere. They built on their success as the season went on. It was fantastic how the team came together. They got better and better as the season went on.”
The team had 15 players – nine forwards, five defencemen, and a goalie.
Mr. Michel credits coach Sommers for his positive coaching style and leading the team through his ability to motivate the kids while building on success rather than pointing our errors.
“His (Sommers) coaching style was so positive and the kids responded to it. Everything that the kids did that was positive he built on it. If a kid made an error he built on that and didn’t point out the negative. He communicated with the kids on that level.”
In addition to League play the team entered several tournaments this year, winning the Regional Silver Stick in Haliburton and were semi-finalists a the International Silver Stick tournament in Welland, Ontario.
After a great season, most of the kids will move on to the peewee level with some stepping up to play rep hockey on other teams.
Whether their teams in the future will have as much success as this squad remains unseen, but for these kids this is one season they will remember.


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