Early January we hear that we are in a District with the Saginaw Badgers and the Blue Water Stars. We beat Saginaw in the round robin but lose to Blue Water (who had eliminated us in Silver Sticks and ouch did that hurt). District Semi's we once again beat Saginaw setting up the rematch with Blue Water for the District Championship which we do win. Blue Water then goes on to the Second Chance game and gets into the State Tournament this weekend also. Those darn Stars just won't go away quietly!
Soon we get the division alignments and see we are in a tough division with Troy who manhandled us 8-0 during our last visit, Ann Arbor, and Macomb who we've played pretty evenly. We have Ann Arbor Friday night, Macomb Saturday morning, and Troy Saturday in round robin play. I figured we had to win against Ann Arbor Friday night to even think about moving on and we lost. I then went home because Austin had Sacrament Class and Ashley went to Honeybee's with Julie. Saturday morning the Blizzard tied Macomb and it seemed like we were toast and I decided to not even drive down last night to watch us get killed by the team who had a good chance going in of winning the whole thing. Well we ended up winning 5-0 in a phenomenal game (Joe's words) getting us a 2nd seed draw in today's semi's. Another upset in the other division was a KV loss to Blue Water. Here we were having to play those pesky Stars again but it was better than playing KV who clobbered us two weeks ago in the LCAHL semi's. I wasn't there and I think I'm glad as it went into 7 overtimes!! That's right 7. They played over two full games this morning. Ann Arbor took KV into 6 overtimes but KV prevailed. What a crazy weekend of Squirt hockey! So many teams saying we were so, so close.
Game time was here and I was honestly thinking a loss was looming but was thrilled knowing we'd be State runner ups! The game started a little late but had a little more hoopla. They called out the starting line-up and also had a gal sing the National Anthem. See this tourney is special! And kudos to Joe he was saying all last week we were going to win. I'm so glad he was right.
The game soon began and we come out and scored but KV quickly answered, we were tied 1-1 after one period of play. The second period KV scored first but we end up answering. Tied 2-2 after two. Oh Lord, please don't let this game go to OT. In the 3rd we scored with a little less than 9 minutes to go and held on to win. What a euphoric feeling for sure!
It was kind of poetic justice today as way back in that first tourney in the fall KV stung us hard in the tournament final. This was also the team if you remember we were tied with 12 seconds to go and Tommy had a breakaway and missed the net that initial weekend. He cried that day and the next day we took 2nd place when they crushed us 6-2. There would be no crying for Tommy today, no heroics from him either, but just solid hustle and good play all weekend. I only saw two of the five games but he looked good from what I did see, though he definitely looked out of gas towards the end today.
All year it's been talk of KV & Troy and the rest of us teams were just there for beating on. We had some good games through the year and pulled off a few upsets and some lower ranked teams beat us too. But today in the State Tournament when it really mattered it was the 2001 Bay County Blizzard who rose to the top!
Starting Line Up
Tommy after receiving his medal
MAHA State Champs!