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Sudbury Food Bank big winners at SPHL Police Cup
2017-01-17

Sure, banners were handed out in each and every age category at the 2017 SPHL (Sudbury Playground Hockey League) Police Cup. But in the end, the real winners were the Sudbury Food Bank, with estimates on Sunday leaning towards a total gathering that would exceed the 4300 pound total that was collected in 2016.

To some extent, the inter-playground challenge that sees each group looking to fill multiple bins at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, has taken on a life of its own.

It was not the least bit unusual to see parents make one last swing out to their favourite grocery store on Sunday morning, adding one last donation that would be enough to push them just pass the collection of food that graced the containers of the same team they were about to contest a championship final with late that day.

As for the on-ice drama, fans in attendance were treated to some dandy matchups, with all of the four gold medal games decided by two goals or less. The Novice grand finale proved to be the closest of all, with a goal by William Ford with 6:11 to play in period three snapping a 2-2 and leading the Lo-Ellen Lightning to a 3-2 win over the Long Lake lads.

Spencer Curich and Jacob Costello had scored earlier in the game for the winners, with Cameron Vehkala striking twice to pull Long Lake even. Long Lake advanced to the final by virtue of a 7-2 semi-final win over McFarlane Lake, while Lo-Ellen disposed of Algonquin 4-0 in the second affair.

In Atom action, the Lo-Ellen Lightning survived a 4-3 shootout win over Cedar Park on Saturday, slipping into the final and blanking the Wolverines 2-0. Jamie Armstrong and William Arsenault pulled the trigger for the Lightning, while goaltender Grayson Boeswald made it stand, turning aside everything that the silver medal winners would throw his way.

The Wolverines did not enjoy a whole lot more breathing room in their second to last game, edging Westmount 3-2. Struggling to hit the win column in regular season play, the Westmount bantams came awfully close to pulling off the upset of the weekend, battling their way into the final before falling 2-0 to Lo-Ellen.

Matthew Rigg backstopped the Lightning to victory, earning the clean slate between the pipes, while both Anthony Cimino and Robbie Geick found the back of the net for the winners. Roughly fifteen hours earlier, Kevin Ranger followed up a three goal performance with a shootout tally, joined in that department by teammate Nicholas Oliveira, as Westmount stayed alive one extra day with a 4-3 semi-final triumph over the Algonquin Hawks.

In Peewee play, a two goal effort from Joshua Gascon spelled the difference as Cedar Park stopped Algonquin 3-1. Rafe Walsh rounded out the scoring for the eventual champions, with Peter Guerra countering in a losing cause for Algonquin.

Palladino Subaru