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By Jeff Doner
The NobleKing Knights minor peewee A hockey team packed the Nobleton Arena on Saturday afternoon for a crucial game four of their semi-final against Cobourg and did not disappoint.
Despite being down early in the game, the Knights refused to give up and kept pressuring their opponent in the offensive zone.
Knights head coach Tom Diceman said it was that refusal to give up that drove his team to the win.
“Heart. From top to bottom heart. They all play for each other and they don't stop or quit,” he said. “It feels great because we've taken that next step. We've had two chances in the past and got snubbed out in the semi's, so now the monkey is off the kids back and there so confident I don't see us stopping any time soon.”
Heading into the game, the Knights led the series two games to one and found themselves in the position to be able to advance themselves into the finals.
The first period didn't go perfectly for the Knights, as Cobourg took a 1-0 lead just minutes into the game. But it wasn't due to a lack of effort by the Knights, who kept pace throughout the first period.
When the second period began, the Knights were buzzing and looking for the tying goal.
However, it was Cobourg that would again strike next. After Knights goalie Matteo Manfrini kicked out his left pad to deny the Cougars on a dangerous three on none, Cobourg turned right back around and scored to take a two-goal lead.
The Knights were down, but certainly not out, coming right back in the next shift. They were dangerous in breaking out of their own zone and eventually they paid off.
With 2:31 left, Lucas Ceccarelli finally broke through for the Knights and make it 2-1 when he found a loose puck fluttering just outside of the Cobourg goal.
The Knights nearly tied things before the conclusion of the second period, but ran out of time.
The final 15 minutes were action packed and full of tense moments.
Relentless offensive pressure kept coming from the Knights and just two minutes in, they tied up the game when Ceccarelli scored his second of the game by tipping the puck high over the sprawling Cobourg netminder.
With the score in a 2-2 deadlock and time ticking down, NobleKing forward Carter Diceman saw an opening and took the puck on a breakaway chance.
He made a nice move, split the defence and then scored to give the Knights their first lead of the game.
From then on the Knights just tried to hold on, with a desperate Cougars club trying to score. In the dying minutes, Manfrini made some big saves in order to deliver a 3-2 victory over their opponent for the series win.
“I felt amazed and I was so happy,” Manfrini said after the game. “Even though we were down, we knew we just had to come back to win it. The toughest thing was that they always have good shots and they always put a guy in front to tip the puck.”
Even though his team didn't get on the board until the second period, Diceman said he knew his team would figure things out as the game wore on.
“I felt like I was going to get on the scoreboard eventually,” he said. “I think we played great as a team and we worked as hard as we can. The key was just putting in the hard work and keep pressuring them. It was good, I just kept hoping I could score to win the game.”
Coach Diceman added that he was proud of the way his team stuck to the game plan and didn't give out, even when they were down.
“That was the way the whole series went,” he said. “We would wear them out down low and take advantage of their smaller defense and then eventually guys stayed with the game plan and the first two goals originated down low.”
The team now has their sight set on the finals against a Grimsby team they haven't yet played this season.
“Their stats show they score a lot of goals, that's all we know about them, but we've got the defense and goaltending to stymie that.”
For more information on the Knights, visit www.noblekinghockey.com.
Excerpt: The NobleKing Knights minor peewee A hockey team packed the Nobleton Arena on Saturday afternoon for a crucial game four of their semi-final against Cobourg and did not disappoint.
Post date: 2014-03-11 15:05:41
Post date GMT: 2014-03-11 19:05:41
Post modified date: 2014-03-18 15:02:30
Post modified date GMT: 2014-03-18 19:02:30
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