Blyth Brussels Atom Rep Crusaders win WOAA gold - March 29, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Blyth Brussels Atom Rep Crusaders brought home the Western Ontario Athletics Aassociation (WOAA) championship last Thursday, besting Goderich 3-2 in overtime to take their series against the Sailors two games to one.
The win topped off an impressive season, with the team posting 18 wins over 29 games, culminating in the final series.
Goderich took an early lead in the first game of the finals, posting a 5-4 win over Blyth on home ice. Fortunately, the Crusaders were able to turn the series around, winning 3-0 in Goderich on March 20 before taking the March 23 game by a score of 3-2 in the second half of the overtime period.
Goderich pulled ahead early, leaving the first period with a 1-0 lead, but Blyth was able to tie the score thanks to a goal from Landyn Hallahan assisted by Colton Radford.
The go-ahead marker was earned early in the third period by Ava Strome, again assisted by Radford.
Goderich would strike back before the end of the period, however, tying up the championship game and resulting in a winner-take-all, sudden-death overtime period.
Action went both ways, with some nailbiting moments in front of both nets. Strome, attacking a rebound, would end the match with an unassisted marker with 3:59 left in the period.
“It was pretty exciting and there was a lot of action on the bench,” Coach John Groves said in an interview with The Citizen. “Both teams worked hard through the series, so it was a tense and exciting moment.”
Groves said the win was a good end to the season for a great bunch of young people.
“They worked hard all season and, after those first couple games, I could tell they had something going together and worked well together,” he said. “They always came together when it was necessary.”