You know the biblical story where young David, against all common sense, willingly stood up to the all-mightier Goliath? Well, the Coastal Shredders spring hockey team was perceived by some of their competition as the David of hockey – the team from a small remote island off Canada’s Pacific coast who acquired players from a minute gene pool relative to most teams in the tournament. One would have been hard pressed to find a gambler willing to put their money on David to win vs. Goliath, or the Shredders to win vs. several teams derived from much larger gene-pools.
The mid-island representatives travelled farther than any other team to Cow Town to participate in the 18th annual Stampede Challenge tournament that would offer up some of the best peewee hockey Canada has to offer. The tournament also marked the closing of what has been a very successful season, with the Shredders already winning gold medals in two previous Lower Mainland tournaments – the Mainland Cup and Challenge Cup.
Eyes of those attending the Calgary tournament opened wide very quickly once the Shredders took to the ice. Tremendous hard work and team play that had only improved as the season progressed enabled the Coastal Shredders to obliterate their first two opponents and come out of the four-game round robin schedule undefeated.
Their first-place finish earned them a semifinal match against the Skillz High Octane from the host region of southern Alberta. A fired up Shredders team played one of its best games of the season, severely burning the Octane by a score of 13-1.
Just two hours later the battle-tested Shredders played for the gold medal against the Edmonton-based Cougars Selects. In a game that featured just three minor penalties, the speed, skill, and exceptional team play by the Shredders were far more than the Selects could handle. The Shredders took a 4-0 lead into the first intermission and never looked back as they shredded the Selects 10-1 to earn the small town squad the Stampede Challenge championship.
Coach Greg Fox could not have been more proud of his players. “We blocked shots, took hits to get the puck, and made numerous great, and at times, unselfish plays. This season has been sensational. The coaching staff worked really well together, and our manager put in countless hours to keep our season running smoothly.
“As for our players, the boys are amazing. Kids worked hard for one another and didn’t want to let their teammates down. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in this game when no one person seeks credit.”
As a reward for the dedication to hard work and commitment to the Shredders team throughout the season, the coaches, players, and parents all took part in an exciting tour of the Scotiabank Saddledome – home of the Calgary Flames. Touring the stands, ice area, locker rooms, and training facilities provided memories that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
The Shredders thank their primary sponsor Schnitzer Steel. Also, Hunter Overhead Doors, Bodynetix and Happy’s Source for Sports for their support to help the Shredders team become the best they could be.
– Coastal Shredders