NobleKing peewee Knights win title

February 19, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The peewee Knights champs consisted of (back, l to r) Trainer Vic Sgro, Joseph Forgione, Assistant Coach Dominic Fortuna, David Mattei, Assistant Trainer Lennie Zambon, Kyle McLauchlin, Kylan Walker, Carmen Provenzano, Head Coach Fab Grossi, Manager Julio Mendez, (middle row) Cristian Zambon, Gianmarco Veri, Marcus Fortuna, Lucas Devito, Christian Sgro, Front row: Stephen Grossi, Julian Mendez, Lucas Boodhoo, Joseph Hinton, Gianmichael Niro. Missing in the photo was Corey Macchione.

By Fab Grossi

They say three times a charm. In the case of the NobleKing Knights peewee team it was definitely true.
The Peewee Knights made their way over the border to represent King Township and Canada at the 2020 Buffalo Winter Classic. The team was determined to make a mark after a disappointing loss in the finals at the recent holiday Silver Stick tournament and an early exit in their Ottawa tournament. The Knights were the only Canadian team in the tournament which added to the excitement of the event.
In their first match on Friday they came out flying, defeating a tough squad from Winterhurst, Ohio 10-2. It was a patient adjustment on the players’ part to USA hockey rules. In the second game of the day, the Knights travelled to the first outdoor venue and faced off against the Cheektowaga Warriors. The game was a hard fought back and forth battle and the home team Warriors came up on top 4-3 in the final minutes of play. It was a demoralizing victory as the players were greeted with chants of “USA” from the opposing team’s parents as they walked off the rink in the change rooms. Those chants would come back to haunt those parents as it was a driving force for the team for the remainder of the tournament.
Because of the loss, day two presented a do or die match-up versus the West Seneca Canadiens. The Knights were focused and disciplined in their game plan and came out on top with a decisive 12-1 victory, pretty much cementing a ticket to the finals on Sunday. One round robin game remained on Sunday against the Kent Cyclones of Ohio. Typically, early Sunday morning games at away tournaments are always a challenge with consecutive late nights and the absence of home cooked meals. They are even more so when a team is up against the bottom seeded team of the division with nothing to lose. All the Knights needed was a tie or a win to advance.
The team started out flat and struggled for two periods until they finally came alive and scored two goals in the third to win 3-2. With the win, the Knights punched their ticket to the finals for a revenge match against the top seeded Cheektowaga Warriors. The outdoor venue at River Works in downtown Buffalo was a perfect site for a rematch. A light snow was falling and temperatures hovered just below freezing. A one hour delay to the starting time of the finals added to the nerves of the entire team, coaching staff included. A breathing session and motivational speech by the coaches led the team onto the ice ready for a victory.
It paid off, The Knights killed an early penalty and rebounded to take 1-0 lead. The Warriors battled back to tie the game at one a piece. The two teams exchanged goals in the 2nd period to set up an exciting final period. Joseph Hinton and Joseph Forgione led the charge, as they did for most of the tournament, each scoring to solidify a 4-2 win.
The Knights overcame their demons and dominated the third period to become the eventual 2020 Buffalo Winter Classic Champions. It was a sight to see as the team was jubilant in their victory and led a chant of “Canada, Canada” as they walked off the rink with the cup in hand. Great job to the boys for keeping their composure and getting the job done.



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