Special to The Lake Report
As expected, the U22 Thunderhawks met a gritty and aggressive Hamilton Bengals on the road last week.
Fortunately for the Thunderhawks, veteran Trent Hunter, an assistant captain, opened the scoring and put pressure on the Bengals midway through the first period.
Thirty seconds later and fighting off a couple of Bengals defenders, Hunter Ostromecki wouldn’t be denied, scoring the team's second goal during a power play.
The Bengals didn't sit back and scored three minutes, then added a power play goal to tie the game at two with three minutes to go in the first period.
The Thunderhawks, short-handed, wouldn’t waiver as Jack Parker scored on the next possession, closing out the first period 3-2.
Parker’s skill caught the eyes of the St. Catharines Athletics, the Jr. B affiliate for the Thunderhawks. Parker has continued to play up for the Jr. Bs, tallying 13 points in 10 games.
However, as a younger player, he hasn’t been able to find a permanent position with the Jr. Bs, to the benefit of the Thunderhawks where his skills will grow and he'll become a leader for the Athletics next season.
The Thunderhawks pressure the Bengals in the second period, causing them to take another penalty. A power play goal by Parker put the Thunderhawks up by two.
He wasn’t to be denied his natural hat trick, launching a rocket just 40 seconds later to send the Thunderhawks up 5-2.
The Bengals' grit forced the Thunderhawks' hand as they scored again halfway through the second period on a power play, closing the deficit to two. Their continued pressure earned the Bengals another tally with just 18 seconds left in the period to close the gap to 5-4.
After being denied by the Bengals' goalie a number of times and facing a number of challenges (including getting his helmet ripped off in the first period and a number of not-so-accidental head shots, holds and slashes), Jordan Wiens buried an opportunity in the third to finish the contest 6-4 for the Thunderhawks.
All scorers were assisted by teammates Ethan Williams (1), Aedan O’Gorman (2), Kris Wilson (1) and Hunter Ostromecki (3).
Although the Thunderhawks' scorers put them on the board, the team's defence played a gritty and aggressive game. Pressure from players like Christian Blaylock, Liam Gatt, Matt VandeLaar, Jack Marotta, Liam Dietsch, and Colby and Noah Ostromecki helped deny the Bengals many chances on starting goalie Tanyan Davis and substituting goaltender Jack Muraca.
Outstanding defenders Trent Hunter and Joe Fragnito kept the Bengals' 6-foot-5 inch powerful offensive player to only a single goal, while Brett Wilson had multiple thunderous hits to stop Bengals in their tracks.
Aaron Wilson earned huge praise from the Thunderhawks bench by knocking down, outrunning, collecting a loose ball and beating the opposing goaltender, only to be denied by the goalie's best friend, the goal post.
The Thunderhawks host the U22 team from Simcoe on June 2 at 8 p.m. at Meridian arena in Virgil and encourage NOTL lacrosse alumni to attend July 9’s Alumni Day for a double-header versus the Milton Mavericks. The first game starts at 10 a.m., followed by a barbecue and the second game at 3 p.m.
Come watch and catch up with past teammates, meet new friends and share some history.
Andy Boldt is head coach of the U22 Thunderhawks.