Months of hard work paid off for the Sun County Panthers U-14 team as they claimed gold at the Ontario Winter Games beating the Ottawa Valley Titans.
"We started laying out the foundation of this championship months ago with hard work, dedication and a total team concept." said co-head coach Austin Wycisk whose team found out they qualified to represent the Alliance Hockey League. "Each player has committed in practice and off-ice workouts and the team achieved the results they wanted this weekend."
The triple-A teams were treated to an Olympic experience with all of the athletes and coaches staying in their own hotel rooms.
The Panthers won their first three games of the round robin by a margin of 14-4 giving them the #1 seed heading into the playoff round. They faced off against #2 seed Barrie eeking out a 2-1 win in a gruelling and physical match up.
The victory set up a finals matchup against the Titans, who beat the Panthers in the final of last year's Shanahan Tournament.
From the first whistle the Panthers were locked in taking a 1-0 lead in the opening minute. They extended their advantage to 3-0 after 20 minutes. Ottawa alley got one back but an empty netter sealed the deal.
The Panther received great goaltending from Daniel Cinelli and William Martyn who combined for a 5-0 record, allowing only 6 goals during the tournament.
"From the first drop of the puck on Friday to the final whistle in the Gold Medal game, every player bought into hard work and committed to our processes and it resulted in an unforgettable championship win." said co-head coach Danny Anger.