Toros Win Home Opener after Tough Tournament Loss, News, Atom AE, 2017-2018 (Clarington Minor Hockey Association)

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Toros Win Home Opener after Tough Tournament Loss
Submitted By Tyler Philp on Monday, September 18, 2017
The Clarington Toros Atom AE squad tested their pre-season conditioning against some of the toughest teams in the OMHA at the Justin Williams Tournament in Cobourg last weekend. The competition was fierce, but the Toros stood up tall to the test, and almost came away with a medal.

The first game of the tournament proved a successful one for the Toros, winning against Grimsby by a score of 8-1. Player of the game was Aidan Maley, who showed grit in battles and ended the game with an impressive hat-trick. The Toros were then slated to face the Northumberland Nighthawks, a division opponent who had performed well in the Lakeshores last season. It was a tough game, with plenty of shots coming from both ends, but it was the Toros who came out with a decisive 5-3 victory. Ari Jukic was awarded player of the game for some well-fought battles along the boards, combined with some very nice passes through the neutral zone. The third game was against a former OMHA finalist, the Peterborough Petes, so the Toros knew they would have to bring their best game. It was an impressive battle between the two teams, but in the end it was Peterborough who came out on top 6-5. Some big plays in the defensive zone by Trey Banks, as well as a solid presence on the opponent's blue line, earned him the player of the game. 

The Semi-Finals early Sunday morning seemed promising for the Toros, going up 4-1 in the early parts of the 1st period against a tough Stouffville team. Unfortunately, lack of conditioning through the 3rd period allowed Stouffville to come back and tie it up 5-5 at the end of the 3rd period. In the shootout, goalie Declan O'Connor performed very bravely, stopping three out of four quality shots before Stouffville ultimately scored the game winner, coming away with a 6-5 shootout victory. For his efforts, Declan received a well-deserved player of the game and the recognition of his teammates. 

Following the loss, the Toros worked extra hard in practice, intent to improve their conditioning. Every single player was bound and determined not to lose a lead in that fashion again. The regular season home opener was their chance to redeem themselves, and they did, winning a nail-biter of a game, 7-6. Instead of falling behind in the 3rd period, the Toros used their new found '2nd Gear' to put up 5 goals in the 3rd, the game winner coming with 2.1 seconds left in the game. For his strong back-checking skills and ability to win every battle he fought on the ice that afternoon, Zachary Coombs was awarded the player of the game.

In upcoming matchups, the Toros face off against a gritty Oshawa Minor Generals team at the Tribute Centre, then come back home to face the newly formed North Durham Warriors on the weekend. GO TOROS!
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