The Dundas Wild Novice House League hockey team travelled over the March Break to play in the 31st annual Simcoe Tournament.
With ample support from their boisterous fans, they earned the reputation as the Cardiac Kids as they fought their way through four tough opponents. The Wild ride began in the first game, when the Caledonia Red Bulls held a 1-0 lead with less than four minutes to go. The Wild snatched away the victory on goals by Mitchell Yates, assisted by Ethan Girard and Luke Gardner, and Carter Pond, assisted by Laughlan Crockett and Ethan Lamb.
Next up was a tough Simcoe team that took an early 2-0 lead. Yates potted his second of the tournament, from Cole DeVries and Ryan Tyios, to close the gap, and with less than two minutes to go in the game, Laughlan Crockett sneaked a shot over the goal line, assisted by Aidan Till and Jason Van Belle, to tie the game and go to a sudden victory shoot-out. Goaltender Kyle Mann made save after save, including six straight in the shoot-out, before Graham Dix stepped up and wired a rocket to the back of the net for a thrilling Wild victory.
Game 3 against the Cayuga Stars started in a familiar fashion, with the Wild falling behind early and another heart-stopping comeback on goals by Yates, unassisted, and Pond, from Crockett. With less than a minute to play and the game still tied 2-2, Pond’s unassisted backhand sealed the victory to put the Wild into the playoffs.
The early morning semifinal saw the Wild down 3-0 after two periods to the Ingersoll Express. With the tournament on the line, the never-say-die Wild fought to the end, with third period goals by Pond, assisted by Van Belle and Dix, and Till, assisted by Quinn Riggs and Mike Marcolin. Unfortunately, the Wild magic ran out and they could not complete a comeback.
Backstopped by the superb goaltending of Kyle Mann, the tournament was truly a team effort as every single Wild skater recorded at least one point.