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10U A Major Citrus Cup Champions

By Jean Rogers, 02/23/21, 8:00PM EST

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The Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 10U Major Squirt A team travelled to Tampa Bay to participate in the Citrus Cup over Presidents Day weekend.  They opened with a game against the fierce Tampa Bay Crunch Blue team, who skated very well and had tremendous goaltending.  The Crunch were able to pull out a tough 2-0 victory that first game, setting the Jr. Canes back to 0-1 in the tournament.  

Coach Wright reminded the team before their second game what they worked so hard on in practice and how they could beat any team if they work harder than them.  Coach then had a little surprise for the team before the game and brought into the locker room for pregame a large speaker to blast some warmup songs to get the kids energized.  After his pregame speech he told the kids they need to go out on the ice and “be beasts” for all 3 periods.  He then blasted “Welcome to the Jungle” on the speaker and the kids were pumped before the game.  Bringing that energy out onto the ice, the team beat the Jacksonville Jets 5-1 with solid goaltending from Hayes Dorman.

After the win over the Jets, the Jr. Canes had to win or at least tie the Atlanta Ice Bandits AA team to make the championship game.  As their new ritual, they blasted Welcome to the Jungle in the locker room before the game and coasted out to a 3-1 lead.  Atlanta, needing a win to get to the championship, fought hard and took a 4-3 lead with only a few minutes left in the 3rd period.  Coach Wright called a timeout and reminded the team who they are and who they represent.  Then, Tyler Hilldale, with 1 minute remaining in the game, ripped a top shelf shot from the blue line.  Atlanta pulled their goalie and Tyler came up clutch again and ripped an empty net goal from about 80 ft away, sending the Jr. Canes to the championship.

The Canes came out determined and focused on winning the championship in a rematch with the Tampa Bay Crunch Blue.  Hayes Dorman continued his fantastic goaltending to lead the Canes to a 1-0 lead late into the third.  The Crunch pulled their goalie and was able to tie the game with 2 seconds left in regulation.  The Canes kept their composure heading into sudden death overtime.  20 seconds into the overtime period, Dominic Fullwood outskated/outhustled a Crunch player on a long clear and was able to make a dramatic centering pass to Chase Kennedy, who was able to receive the pass and rip the puck into the back of the net to win the championship in overtime.  

It was a fantastic weekend by the entire team and goes to show that hard work pays off - this time the payoff was the team’s first championship!