The Syd Tange Trophy, U18 National Championships was held in Adelaide from the 29th June to 2nd July. ACT sent a representative team comprised of 9 boys from the ACT and 5 from NSW. Although the team was relatively young they held strong and played a number of close games with either a draw or narrowly losing to the other states. This year the tournament consisted of three 15 minute stop time periods, changing the way power plays and penalty kills are played, potentially giving a team a longer time on the advantage. ACT started the first game strongly being 2-1 down at the end of the first period against WA, unfortunately the game got away from us early in the second and the boys were unable to make a comeback. The team played a fantastic second game against QLD leading the QLD team 2-0 by the end of the second, QLD made a comeback in the third to force the draw (with a very lucky lost puck that was picked up by a QLD player) and ultimately win in the penalty shootout. The game against Victoria was tough, with the size and physicality of the VIC team, Victoria won 5-1.
Shortly after the ACT/VIC game on Friday morning the tournament was postponed due to a hole in the ice and no games were played until the next morning where ACT took on SA. ACT played another strong game finishing at the end of the second at 1 all. After the ice clean, the hole had softened up and was deemed unsuitable to play. After much discussion it was agreed that a penalty shootout at one end of the ice will decide the winner. ACT goalie Jakob Doornbos didn’t allow a goal whilst our first round shooter Nick Doornbos scored giving ACT the win. To the disappointment of all, IHA overruled the decision and forced the teams to play the third period later in the afternoon where SA proved to have the stronger team.
In the last game of the round robin ACT played NSW. The ACT boys were on fire and ready to take on their NSW travel league friends and rivals. All the crowd were chanting “A. C. T.” and the ACT team played an outstanding fast paced game giving NSW their greatest challenge in the round robin.
ACT goalie Jakob Doornbos deservedly won the MVP for the ACT team, and also Best Goalie for the tournament and was selected on the “All Star” line. All the boys played exceptionally well, and had a lot of fun both on and off the ice. A huge thank you to all those boys who made the commitment and played to the best of their abilities to represent the ACT and uphold our values. Another huge thank you to the Management, Coaching and Support Staff, and the supporters who came to Adelaide to cheer and support the team through these tough and changing conditions.
IHACT Syd Tange & Midget Coach