The Nickel City Major Peewee "AA" Jr Sons are nothing if not battle tested as they ready themselves for the upcoming OHF Championships in Kitchener from April 13th to the 15th.
The locals captured their NOHA Tournament of Champions earlier this month in Timmins, but not before recording three crucial one goal wins over the course of just over 24 hours, including a pair of nail-biters on championship Sunday.
The Jr Sons were on cruise control in game one, disposing of the Copper Cliff Major Peewee "AA" Redmen 7-1, but suffered their only loss later that evening, beaten 4-1 by the West Ferris Jr Trappers.
Come Saturday afternoon, coach Rick Poitras and company were in "lock-down" mode, recording their first of two 1-0 victories over the SMPWL Soo Jr Greyhounds, and securing a second place finish with a comfortable 6-0 whitewashing of the Timmins Tahoe Resources North Stars.
That placement, however, would mean a rematch with the Hounds, and no easy pathway to the gold medal encounter. Backstopped by a shutout performance from Zoe Rienguette and with overtime heroics courtesy of André Boulet, who drilled home a bullet of a wrist shot, top corner, for the game-winning marker, the Jr Sons would live to play another game.
The special teams were clicking in the final as the Nickel City crew netted both a short-handed (Zachary Chenier) and power-play goal (Mathieu Guillet) to grab a 2-1 lead over West Ferris, heading into the third period of play.
The see-saw affair continued in the final frame as the Jr Sons expanded their lead to a pair of goals when Ryan Ricci deflected home a shot from Boulet, only to see the Trappers get that one back a mere eight seconds later.
A full commitment to defensive hockey and a game-saving pad save from Owen Mckeachnie in the final minute of play secured the banner for the Nickel City reps, holding on for a 3-2 win over West Ferris.
Rounding out the Major Peewee "AA" Jr Sons' 2017-2018 roster are Cameron Allen, Cowan Billard, Chris Doré, Drake Jacko, Cole Lamond, Owen Leblanc, Wyatt Letford, Carson Robert, Liam Vallillée, Brady Vandruenen, Martin Wissell and staff members Rick Poitras (head coach), Michel Chartrand (ass't coach), Gerald Viau (ass't coach), Michelle Guilbault (manager), Stephane Robert (manager) and Roch Duval (trainer).