Knights make huge statement in tournament play; HERicanes claim silver in Ottawa

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By Darryl G. Smart

The Norfolk Knights made a huge early impression on the hockey world this weekend, with two teams bringing home gold medals.

The U13 Knights played perfect defensive hockey en route to a 4-1 record, which included a 5-2 victory over the Oakville Rangers on Sunday to claim the Milton WInterhawks Invitational title.

Things got off to a great start Friday, when the Knights edged the Burlington Eagles 2-1. Later in the afternoon, the Blades gave the Knights their only blemish with a 2-1 decision.

On Saturday, the Knights showed their ability to bounce back, beating the Milton Winterhawks 2-1, and the Port  Credit Storm by the same score to earn a spot in the final.

In the final on Sunday, the Knights got another crack at the Rangers and made no mistake, breaking out with a 5-2 win.

“Winning our first tournament as the newly formed Norfolk Knights was a pleasant surprise,” coach Doug Dwyer said. “The group has not played ‘A’ division hockey, or as a team before, so there were a lot of unknowns going into our first ‘A’  level tournament with larger centres.”

Dwyer said the players have been working hard preparing for the season and the hard work paid off with the tournament win. 

“The win in the tournament provides the kids confidence and knowledge to know they can compete, win and belong in ‘A’ division hockey,” Dwyer said. “As the tournament progressed you could see the confidence growing in the kids, belief in themselves and their teammates with the kids playing our best game of the tournament in the final.”

The Knights have begun their Niagara District Hockey League schedule and are 1-0-1, tying Fort Erie and beating Niagara-on-the-Lake. Sunday they are at Talbot Gardens at 3:20pm when they host the Thorold Blackhawks.

U12 Knights perfect in Orillia

The Norfolk Knights U12 squad were dominant, only allowing four goals and going undefeated to capture the Jim Wilson Chevrolet Buick GMC Tournament.

The Knights began things on Friday with a 8-0 victory over the Newmarket Renegades. They followed that up on Saturday with an 8-1 win over the Caledon Hawks.

On championship Sunday, the Knights blanked the Orillia Terriers 7-0, before edging out the Guelph Gryphons 5-3 in the championship game.

Head coach Mike Grimes was extremely pleased with the way his team played, and said it was a great start to the season for his new team.

“It was a fantastic weekend,” Grimes said. “The final game was a back-and-forth battle with us putting in an empty-netter to seal the deal. It was a great team effort.”

The U12 Knights have also played two regular season games and are 2-0 in NDHL action. They are also at Talbot gardens on Sunday, when they host the Welland Tigers at 2:10pm.

U15 HERicanes claim silver in Ottawa

The Norfolk HERicanes U15 B team hit the road and came home silver medalists at the Kanata Girls Hockey Association Tournament.

Friday, the HERicanes opened the tournament up with a 1-0 win over the Nepean Wildcats, before dropping a 3-2 decision to the Kanata Rangers (Red).

Saturday, the HERicanes played the Gloucester-Cumberland Stars to a 2-2 tie, before beating the Kanata Rangers (Blue) 3-1 to earn a spot in the playoffs.

On Sunday, they punched a ticket to the final after getting some revenge over the Rangers (Red) with a 3-2 win.

In the final, the HERicanes came oh so close to gold, dropping a 1-0 decision to the North Bay Boltz.