LAKE PLACID - The Northwood Junior hockey team captured the 33rd annual Northwood Invitational championship Sunday, Jan. 22 after shutting out Stanstead College 8-0 in the final.
"It's a great feeling to win the tournament," Northwood head coach Jeff Matthews said. "It's special because we won as a team. Everyone contributed and did their job, and that's when we play our best. We have a very tight-knit group, and our players definitely earned it. I'm really happy for them."
The Huskies advanced to the championship game out of the Fleming Division, after defeating the Nichols School (Buffalo) in the semifinal round earlier in the day.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News
Northwood Juniors forward Tommy Evangelista attempts to control the puck with his skate during the championship game against Stanstead College on Sunday, Jan. 22. Also pictured for Northwood is Tommi Savola (13).
Stanstead (Quebec) played out of the Reed Division, and punched their ticket to the championship game by taking down Hill Academy 3-1. Stanstead was the defending tournament champion from last year.
Northwood attacked the Spartan net early by firing shots from all angles. Less than five minutes into the game, Northwood's Brian Hennessey flipped the puck into the Spartan goal after a pass from teammate Chris Fenwick.
Soon after, Fenwick scored on another pass from Hennessey soon after. Hennessey scored a goal of his own later in the period, and Travis Jeke and Felyx Darveau also tallied in the period to give the Huskies a 5-0 lead at halftime.
Northwood finished the first half with 23 total shots on goal, while Stanstead had five. Two Northwood players received penalties in the half, while three from Stanstead spent time in the box. Neither side converted their power play opportunities.
The Huskies continued their strong play in the second half, while Stanstead was unable to create scoring chances.
With Northwood on cruise control and frustration visibly setting in for Stanstead, the game went into running time roughly seven minutes into the half.
Darveau scored twice in the second half for three goals on the game, while teammates Christian Linge and Hennessey also found the back of the net.
"Stanstead really is a great team, and we've played some good games with them the last few years," Matthews said. "Their coach does a really good job and they've got a strong team. Sometimes in tournaments like this, when you play your second game of the day and fifth of the weekend, it's like a battle of attrition and you get some unlikely results."
Jeke was named as the most valuable player of the tournament. Darveau and Hennessey were selected to the all-tournament team.
"I thought every one of our players stepped up at different times," Matthews said. "(Jeke) is a great player. He scored a big goal for us and made a bunch of good plays at crucial times over the weekend. But honestly, if it wasn't him, there were a few other guys that could have been MVP. I also believe there were nine or 10 players that easily could have been named to the all-tournament team."
The Northwood Invitational, which began Friday, had 42 teams competing in three different divisions.