Whitfield Guardian Pharmacy U18 Elmvale Coyotes Win OMHA Championship, News (Elmvale Minor Hockey)

News Article
News Article Image
Apr 09, 2024 | Michael Kelly | 2385 views
Whitfield Guardian Pharmacy U18 Elmvale Coyotes Win OMHA Championship
Our U18 Elmvale Coyotes have brought home an OMHA Tier 1 Championship for the great hockey town of Elmvale. Close to 25 years after our last Midget Championship and over 14 years since our last Elmvale Championship by our Novice team winning an Eastern Ontario Championship.

For all of us older hockey enthusiastic the U18 was formally known as Midget and the Tier 1 is like an OMHA B classification from the years past.

Our Elmvale Coyotes are more than deserving recipients of this amazing accomplishment. In both the semi-final and championship games the team looked all but down and out but were able to dig deep and complete the improbable and bring back the Championship to Elmvale.

The U18 B hockey season started out great with only 1 loss in the boys first 10 games. This included a second place finish in our home town Brian English Memorial tournament.

Unfortunately things did not continue quite as good for the next stretch as inconsistent league play and a disappointing Silver Stick tournament followed the impressive start.

A good showing in an A tournament narrowly losing out in the semis seemed to turn the boys season around again.

With a stronger finish to the second half of the season it appeared the boys were ready to take flight. Our playoff start was a little underwhelming and forced the Coyotes team into having to roll off 3 straight wins to even qualify for the OMHA Championship for a second year in a row. Big wins over Shelburne at home and then Parry Sound and Huntsville on the road qualified the boys for the OMHA Tier 1 Championship in Kingston.

The U18 Coyotes weren’t satisfied with just qualifying; they wanted the Georgian Bay Championship as well. With an impressive 4-1 win at home in front of another great crowd and an exciting 3-2 OT comeback win on the road declared our Whitfield Guardian Pharmacy U18 Elmvale Coyotes as Region 5 Champions against our long-time rivals from Parry Sound.

After two weeks of practice and off ice conditioning the Coaching staff of Andrew Priest, Jake Bouzis, Jake Lalonde, Tye King and Jayson Colyn were confident the boys were ready for a run at an OMHA Championship and making our Elmvale Coyotes Nation Proud.

And boy did they accomplish that. Eight teams from across 7 different leagues showed up on Friday in Kingston all confident and capable of being crowned champions.

Game 1 against Niagara on the Lakes started off strong with Leim Van Loosen scoring an early goal on a great individual effort. But then it was what I would call the Cole Kleingebbinck show. NOTL took control and peppered our net and outstanding goalie with an insane amount of shots. Kleingebbinck and the boys held on and at the end of one the score was tied. Noah Johnston took over and scored one in the second and one in the third to give us a three to one lead. They peppered our net again but again Kleingebbinck stood strong. Garrett Fay and Jake Dutton were able to get control and Dutton put in the empty net goal for the 4-2 win.

Saturday morning the boys faced off against the top ranked Petrolia Oilers team. After an early shorthanded goal by Garrett Fay Petrolia took over the game and we fell short with a 2-1 loss. The Coyote players and fans were not dejected though; a win or a tie in game 3 Saturday evening against the Mitchell Meteors would solidify our spot in the semi-finals. Again Van Loosen started the Coyotes off right with an early goal with great help from line mates Bradford Elliott and team Captain Jake Murphy. Mitchell tied it up before the end of the first.

The second period saw more penalty trouble but during a 4 on 4 Johnston made some unbelievable moves against 3 Mitchell players to give us the 2-1 lead. Shortly after that Mason Cornwall scored a short-handed breakaway beauty to give us the 3-1 lead. As all the Coyote fans and coaching staff can attest to; this team never did anything the easy way and with penalty troubles and an injury to stellar defenseman Mitchell Hales the boys let the Meteors back in the game but held on the for covenant 3-3 tie to qualify for Sundays semis.

The Semi-final game saw us take on the Lindsay Muskies, a team we had faced with little success in the Silver Stick Tournament earlier in the season. For two and a half periods the teams battled back and forth.

Down 1-0 with 3 minutes to go Fay from team mates Dutton and Beckham Westcott, was able to score a PP goal to give the Coyotes life. It was an emotional and awesome site to see the celebration take place in front of our U13 Elmvale Coyotes who jumped and cheered and pounded on the glass. Coyote Nation was alive and well.

Unfortunately penalty trouble once again roared its ugly head and the Coyotes found themselves shorthanded once again. As the boys had shown all season our PK was often more successful than our PP and once again Dutton scored a shorthanded breakaway goal from an outstanding pass from Caleb Dorion to give us the 2-1 lead. The hockey gods weren’t done yet though. A questionable call put our beloved Coyotes down two men. Not to worry though as outstanding work by our penalty killers Carter Bylow, Dorion, Murphy and Kleingebbinck killed off the penalties and the game ended in an exciting 2-1 win for Elmvale. Special mention must be made to our defense core including Dorion, Bylow, Lucas Knight, Ethan Palmer and Ethan Trench who did outstanding work all weekend especially once Hales was injured. Forwards Jacob Holt provided a constant fore check and Westcott put fear in the opponents with his timely hitting.

Off to the finals we went with much excitement and anticipation. A quick Pita Pit stop for the players and some top notch parking lot banter with the parents and fans had the Elmvale Coyotes ready to finally bring back another OMHA Championship to the storied Elmvale Coyotes organization. Mitchell was once again the team that stood in the way of our boys accomplishing this feat. As had happened all tournament Elmvale opened up the scoring with a breakaway goal by Fay. The second was not as kind to the Yotes as two PP goals and a SH goal put the Meteors up 3-1 after 2 periods. The second intermission had the parents discussing our chances and talking about what a run it had been. The young Elmvale coaching staff obviously wanted none of that and their second period pep talk had the Coyotes ready for the historical comeback that will be talked about for years by the players, coaching staff and fans alike.

With 7 minutes to play the Coyotes still found themselves down 3-1. Time appeared to be running out on the “Cinderella” run? A PP goal by Cornwall that hit a few things on the way in started the comeback. Shortly after that Dutton scored the tying goal on a beauty two on one and the Elmvale fans and bench erupted. The dream of winning an OMHA Championship was alive and well. The final few minutes ended and a 10 minute overtime set the stage for a story book ending for our beloved Elmvale Coyotes. 45 seconds into the first overtime Dutton shattered the Meteors dream and put him and his Coyotes teammates into a place of hockey laurel that very few people get the chance to be – All Ontario OMHA Champions.

The parents and fans couldn’t be more proud of this team, this amazing coaching staff and the EMHA organization. The feelings we experienced this weekend and after the OT winning goal is something every hockey player and hockey fan should strive to achieve as an Elmvale Coyote. I truly hope we have more of these celebrations in the years to come.

Best of luck in the future to all of our third year players; these fine gentlemen and hockey players couldn’t have ended their minor hockey careers in a better way; Goalie Cole Kleingebbinck, Defenseman Lucas Knight, Forwards Beckham Westcott, Bradford Elliott, Jake Murphy and Jake Dutton.

Special thanks to our U 15 Rep AP goalie Braxton Westcott for being our backup goalie and cheering on his teammates. As well as our U18 D AP goalie Will Venstra who practiced and played with this team throughout the year.

In all my years of playing and watching our kids play hockey, Elmvale has always supported our Coyote hockey teams in so many ways and shown up to cheer on our teams. Thank you to all the fans who showed up all season long to support our U18 Rep team. A very special mention to those that supported our U18 Elmvale Coyotes during this epic weekend; all the parents and family members of the players and coaching staff but also to the U13 team, coaching staff, parents and fans. Thanks also to Nolan and Kaiden Maw and Hunter Jamieson, Teresa and Murray Archer and Kory Rowell and his family who made the long trek to Kingston to cheer the boys on.

To recognize and celebrate this great accomplishment we will be having a mini parade on Friday evening with a drive around town ending with a celebration at the Elmvale Legion. Stay tuned for more details on social medial.

Thanks to the Whitfield Guardian Pharmacy for their years of sponsoring our kids in Elmvale Minor Hockey and for their sponsorship this season.

2024 Tier 1 OMHA Champions- our very own U18 Elmvale Coyotes! Go Coyotes Go!