Tyke Blue Travels to Meaford With First Place on the Line, News, Tyke Blue, 2012-2013 (Dundalk Storm)

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Tyke Blue Travels to Meaford With First Place on the Line
Submitted By mbroderick on Monday, March 11, 2013
Tyke Blue played their final game on Sunday in Meaford, against the Thornbury Georgian Shores team with a lot on the line.  It has been a tremendously successful season for Blue and winning or losing this game would not change that.  However, a win in the final game of the regular season would secure first place overall for the Tyke Blue. 
Dundalk Tyke Blue had played this Thornbury team twice this season, winning the first game 5-1 and the second game was a very tight 3-2 win for Blue.  This game, two months after the last meeting would really highlight how much development there has been for the Blue squad.

Tyke Blue came out tentative to start the game, feeling out their opponents.  Likely still thinking about their visit to Meaford on Tuesday, where they had lost their second game of the season.  In that first opportunity to clinch first overall, Blue did not go to the net and get rebounds.  Blue did not make that mistake in this one, as they were getting the puck to the net and then moving to look for rebounds.  With 4:38 left in the first period, that style of play paid off as Amber Rice, back from a Florida vacation, went to the net, deflected a McKibbon shot and put it home, opening the scoring.  On the next shift, Tyke Blue highlighted their improved passing skills as Wyatt Goheen kept the puck in at the line, moving it to Aidan Broderick who got it down low to Dante Hannivan.  When Hannivan gets open space in front of the net, he rarely misses and made no mistake on this one.  With the first period ending 2-0, Blue was looking good but knew that they needed to keep working and not let a strong Georgian Shores team back into the game.

Jimmy Stevens, had also arrived from Florida, driving straight through the night and arriving in Dundalk shortly after 10am.  After a quick break at home, it was back in the car to get to the Thornbury game.  Early in the second, Stevens was glad he showed up, as was Tyke Blue as he went to the net took a shot from Hannivan and put it home for Blue's third goal of the game.  Stevens enjoyed that so much that he scored his second goal of the game on his next shift, padding the Dundalk lead.  Assisting on the goal was Hannivan and first year star (and fellow Florida vacationer), Amber Rice.  At the end of the second period, Dundalk Tyke Blue was enjoying a 4-0 lead, which could have been higher if not for some exceptional goaltending by the Thornbury netminder. One such play was when Wiley Ferris got the puck in front of the net after a nice pass and fired it, stoned by the Thornbury goaltender coming across.  That kind of positioning and the more agressive play by Ferris was noticed in this period as the speedster put pressure on the Thornbury team the entire time. 

The third period, became the Aiden M and Jimmy show as they seemed to click on a line together.  Early in the third, Aiden McKibbon took a pass from Jimmy and went to the net.  Lying on his stomach after being brought down by a Thornbury defender, McKibbon put it home.  On the same shift, Jimmy went to the net, as he had been taught to do, and McKibbon made a nice pass in front and Jimmy made no mistake on the one timer, the first career hatrick for Jimmy.  And, on the same shift, Aidan Broderick and Amber Rice showed the nice passing again, getting the puck to the net, Aiden McKibbon grabbed the loose puck and fired it home.  That amazing shift, blew the game wide open giving Blue a 7-0 lead.  The final goal of the game, highlighted the work that Blue had done this year in practice.  Aidan Broderick grabbed the puck behind the net and skated out with it.  When pressured by a Thornbury player, he fired it off the boards where a sweeping McKibbon grabbed it to get a breakaway.  McKibbon placed it in the corner of the net, for his hatrick and securing an 8-0 win for Tyke Blue. 

In an 8-0 win, it is easy to talk about the offensive juggernaut of the Tyke Blue.  However, as always, the team shined defensively first and created offense from the defense positions.  Many of the assists came from the defense position and good puck position gave Blue the opportunity to create more offense.  Chase Tester, continuing to improve, showed that he is a defensive forward, always ensuring that his end of the ice is taken care of before leaving the zone.  Other forwards that really showed great defensive play were Wiley Ferris and Dante Hannivan.  Along with Aiden McKibbon, these three players work their hardest to move their feet and get back to help out.  Joshua Broderick played a much more focused game, getting in the way of Thornbury players and getting the puck out of the Blue zone on a number of occasions.  Aidan B, playing a strong defensive game as usual, was complimented with two amazing games by Quentin Welsh and Wyatt Goheen.  Both players frustrated the Thornbury stars as they were able to disarm attacks often before it reached the Blue zone.  Blue's most versatile player, Amber Rice played defense in the third period and again showed her prowess on the point, earning two assists and always outskating attackers to ensure a minimum of shots. 
The defense is never complete without a strong goaltender.  Despite some equipment problems, Brody Verbeek stopped all shots that came his way, including a breakaway late in the game to preserve his shutout. 

With the regular season over, and no playoffs, Tyke Blue can officially claim top spot in the tyke loop.  Earning first place is great but the development of all players on the team is the real winner for this group.  The team now looks forward to new opponents as they are entered in the Honeywood tournament, have a game against Grand Valley and close the season in the Durham tournament. 
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