Reflecting on Fanshawe Wings season of success
The team is made up of the most talented players in the intramural ice hockey league that plays at Stronach Arena. They started their journey last season with a new squad, a new captain and a goal of becoming the best in the college loop. The boys did a lot more than as they finished with an overall record of 17-0-1.
The Wings headed to Humber in early November for a 20 team tournament with all colleges competing. They battled hard through four round robin games and came out on top of their division with a 4-0 record, they went on to face the number two team in the opposite division which turned out to be the host Humber Hawks, with regulation and overtime solving nothing the teams headed to a shoot-out. After 11 rounds of shooters Fanshawe Coach Ernie Duroucher sent out centre and assistant captain Tom Herbert and he made no mistake as he went to the back hand and sent the Red Wings to the finals.
In the finals Fanshawe faced a tough battle against a strong Durham team, but the Wings proved to be too much riding a giant wave of momentum they skated to a 5-3 victory to claim the championship.
The next tournament for the Wings was their own. Fanshawe hosted a 3on3 tournament at the Western Fair with all the big name teams invited, but the boys were to strong as they skated through the tourney rather easily and defeated U of T Mississauga in the finals 7-4.
The Conestoga tournament in Kitchener was next on the agenda as they boarded the bus on the 9th of February and looked for their third straight title. Game1 was a walk for Fanshawe as they beat up on SLC Cornwall 6-2....Game 2 was a different story, facing a team they have never seen or played before Fanshawe jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead over the Canadore Panthers, but the Panthers would not go away scoring two goals to make a late charge in the third to get with in one but Fanshawe prevailed to make it to the final against a big Niagara team.
In the final both teams came out flying but Niagara's strength and size started to wear down the Wings and at the end of two periods it was Niagara 5 Fanshawe 1. About 5 minutes into the third Fanshawe scored three quick goals to make it 5-4. Fanshawe pushed hard for the equalizer in the final three minutes but Niagara held on for the 5-4 championship win.
The boys in red were disappointed after their first loss of the season at Conestoga, so they went back to work as they prepared for the last tournament of the year in Chatham. Things would not be easy for the Wings as they faced a strong St Clair team in game one but managed to squeak out a 2-1 win. In Game two the Wings faced a team they had never seen before in MacMaster. Fanshawe came out strong and dominated the first period and were up 4-1 heading into the second. Lazy and careless play by the Wings opened the door for McMaster as they made it close but were unable to tie the game, final score 6-5. The final game was a rematch of the Durham Semi Final; the Humber Hawks were looking for revenge after their heart breaking loss back in November. Tom Herbert opened the scoring for the Wings on a nice pass from Keith Kennedy; The Hawks tied the game late in the third and forced a shootout. Once again Tommy was the hero as he pulled a beauty backhand dangle to beat the tender and give the Wings there third title of the year.
The Red Wings will begin this season in November once again as they will head to Humber to defend their title. Assistant Captain Tom Herbert is excited about the upcoming season he says “we have a great core of guys coming back with a lot of leadership… with the team we have this year we should not have a problem improving on our stats from last year.”
The Red Wings are a team that deserves the same respect that any other team gets at Fanshawe. With their talent and determination we may see an undefeated season on the horizon.