LEO U18 Championship Weekend 2023-24, News (Apsley Minor Hockey)

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Mar 28, 2024 | April Perks | 627 views
LEO U18 Championship Weekend 2023-24
Friday, March 22nd - Sunday, March 24th, the Apsley Minor Hockey Association hosted the League of Eastern Ontario U18 Championship Weekend.  Ten U18 teams from across the league met at the NKCC in Apsley to determine the league champions.  Teams included: Apsley Flames, Brighton Bolts, Centre Hastings Grizzlies, Colborne Firehawks, Douro Dukes 1, Douro Dukes 2, Ennismore Eagles, Lakefield Chiefs, Norwood Hornets Black & Norwood Hornets Gold.  

The Apsley Flames U18 team was the 2nd seed going into the championship tournament.  On the night of Friday, March 22nd, Apsley faced off agaist the 5th place team, the Lakefield Chiefs.  The Flames came out flying in the first period and made it 1-0 Apsley, 23 seconds in.  Beckham Perks scored for the Flames, assisted by his brother Keagan Perks and cousin, Cody Dunford.  Apsley eased up in the 2nd period and Lakefield brought out a new level of determination.  The Chiefs were all over the Flames and tied up the game at 7:56 in the second.  30 seconds later, the Chiefs scored again, gaining a 2-1 lead over the Flames!  Both teams battled hard during the remaining minutes of the second period and throughout the entire third.  Apsley knew they had to at least tie the game to give them their best shot at the 'A' Championship game on Sunday.  With less than a minute on the clock, Apsley pulled their goalie and sent out a 6th attacker.  With 41 seconds left in the game, Keagan Perks snapped the game tying goal, assisted by Cody Dunford.  The game ended in a 2-2 tie!

Early Saturday morning, March 23rd, the U18 Flames hosted the 3rd seed team, Norwood Hornets Gold.  Noah Gallagher scored early in the first period, assisted by Dominick Bolton and Beckham Perks.  Norwood tighted things up and held Apsley off until later in the 1st when Keagan Perks added a second goal for the Flames, assisted by Dominick Bolton.  The 2nd period began with a 2-0 lead for Apsley.  Keagan Perks scored just over a minute into the 2nd, unassisted, securing a 3-0 lead.  About a minute and a half later, Dominick Bolton scored the 4th and final goal of the game, assisted by Cody Dunford and Ollie Olauson.  The remaining time in the 2nd and 3rd periods was filled with penalty minutes for both teams.  The final score, 4-0 for the U18 Flames.  Gavin Swift earned the shutout for Apsley.

With a win and a tie, Apsley finished in 1st place and earned a spot in the 'A' Championship Game.  Lakefield went on to beat the 1st seed team, Douro Dukes 2, and also earned their shot at the league championship.  Apsley knew that after a tie with Lakefield Friday night, they would need to give their absolute all on Sunday for their best chance against the Chiefs.  

On Sunday, March 24th the NKCC was packed with U18 families, fans and friends, as well as numerous players, their parents and grandparents from other AMHA teams.  The amount of support for the Apsley Flames U18 team was amazing. 

The League of Eastern Ontario U18 Championship game began a little behind schedule.  Apsley dominated the 1st period, outshooting Lakefield 11-0.  Halfway throught the first, Dominick Bolton scored for Apsley, assisted by Hudson Power and Noah Gallagher.  The second period began with a 1-0 lead for the Flames.  With less than a minute in, Keagan Perks scored on the power play, assisted by Austin Shee.  The score was now 2-0 for Apsley. The second period was more evenly matched with a total of 10 shots on goal for both the Flames and the Chiefs.  With 10 seconds left in the 2nd, Hudson Power scored another power play goal for Apsley, assisted by Ollie Olauson.  The third period began with a 3-0 spread, in favour of the Flames.  Lakefield outshot Apsley 7-6 in the final period of the game.  They held Apsley off as best they could with a short bench.  In the final moments, the Chiefs pulled their goalie in attempt to break the shutout.  Apsley fought hard in front of their net with 4 players agaisnt Lakefield's 6.  In the final seconds of the game, Austin Shee scored a short-handed, unassisted, empty net goal for the Flames.  The final score, 4-0 Apsley!  After being out for several games due to injury, Adam McGinn made an amazing comeback with the shutout for the Flames!

As soon as Sunday's game ended, the Apsley players skated over and shook hands with their opponnents.  It was a very sportsmanlike moment for the Chiefs and the Flames, especially in the U18 division, as both teams congratulated each other.  The Apsley Flames U18 players and coaching staff were presented with LEO Championship hats.  This is the first season the League of Eastern Ontario has purchased hats for the 'A' Championship winning teams in each divisoin, U9 through U18.  The winning teams are also presented with league championship banners for photo opportunities.  Congrantulations to the Apsley Flames U18 team for winning the league championship!  Team members include:  Tyler McMann, Gordie Garrett, Austing Shee, Keagan Perks, Carson Conlin, Cody Dunford, Beckham Perks, Connor Sayers, Connor Lockerbie, Ollie Olauson, Dominick Bolton, Hudson Power, Alex McMann, Noah Gallagher, Dillon Lockerbie, Gavin Swift and Adam McGinn.  Coaching Staff: Caleb Trotter, Jordan Tucker, Mike Shee, Lukuas Anastasiou & Caleb Crosby.  

For the first time in 11 years, the Apsley Flames U18 team won a league title! This had not been done since the Apsley Flames Midget team won the United Counties Hockey League championship game in the 2012-13 season.  Current Apsley Flames U18 head coach, Caleb Trotter, was a member of the 2012-13 championship winning team as a young affiliate player!

LEO U18 Championship Weekend Results:

'A' Champions - Apsley Flames
'A' Finalists - Lakefield Chiefs
'B' Champions - Norwood Hornets Gold
'B' Finalists - Douro Dukes 1
'C' Champions - Centre Hastings Grizzlies
'C' Finalists - Douro Dukes 2
'D' Champions - Ennismore Eagles
'D' Finalists - Norwood Hornets Black
'E' Champions - Brighton Bolts
'E' Finalists - Colborne Firehawks

Apsley Flames U18 players aging out of minor hockey: Connor Lockerbie, Gordie Garrett, Austin Shee, Tyler McMann, Keagan Perks, Noah Gallagher & longtime AMHA Executive & Bench Staff Member, Mike Shee
The 2012-13 Apsley Flames Midget team after winning the United Counties Hockey League Championship