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Stampeders Charge Past the Competition

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Last weekend (Nov. 23-25), the Swan Valley Atom A Stampeders hosted the annual Atkinson Sports Excellence/Pizza Place Atom tournament. The hometown Stampeders played host to teams from Thompson, Flin Flon, and The Pas.
The tournament began on Friday (Nov. 23) afternoon when the hosts faced off against The Pas Huskies. Buoyed by a boisterous crowd of Taylor School students, the Stamps eked out a 3-2 victory. Damien Leask opened the scoring in the first period. The Pas tied the game early in the second period before Dayson Martin and Leask opened up a two goal lead for the Stamps. The third period saw the Huskies apply pressure and pull to within one goal. Goalie Scott Tibbett shut the door late in the game to preserve the 3-2 victory.
Later that evening, the Stampeders played their second game of the day against the Flin Flon Bombers. A slow start by the Stamps led to an early goal by the Bombers. Slowly the Stampeders began to take control and at the 10 minute mark of the first period, the flood gates opened up. Within a span of four minutes the Stampeders scored four goals coming off the sticks of Leask, Alex Campbell, Payton Thompson, and Trace Langan. In the second period, Flin Flon got one back before the Stamps scored two more by Campbell. In the third period, the Stampeders continued their domination and scored four more times by Langan, Rooks, Dade Werbicki, and Campbell. Final score was 10-2 for the Stamps.
The third and final round-robin game pitted the Stampeders against Thompson King Miners.
A fast-paced back-and-forth game saw plenty of action and plenty of saves from Stampeder netminder Tibbett. The game star turned away many shots especially in the third period when the Stamps got into penalty trouble.
The Stampeders opened the scoring in the first period when Thompson rifled a wrist shot in from the top of the right circle. The King Miners scored to tie it up before Campbell scored two late goals to put the home team ahead by two heading into the second period. The second period was scoreless setting up a very exciting third period. The King Miners pressed in the third and were finally rewarded with a late goal to bring them to within one. The comeback was short- lived though as Matt Zamzow put every ounce of strength in his 75 lb. frame into a 200 foot empty net goal to seal a 4-2 victory.
An undefeated round-robin placed the Stampeders in the semi-finals against Flin Flon. The Stampeders dominated the play and the scoreboard and the result was a 11-0 victory. The offence was led by Campbell with four goals and four assists. Ben Poole chipped in with a hat trick. Singles came off the sticks of Thompson, Zamzow, Rooks, and Sam Lacasse. Martin and Langan chipped in with two assists while Zamzow added one of his own.
The victory propelled the Stampeders into the A-final and a rematch with the Thompson King Miners. What a game this turned out to be.
The King Miners came out hungry to avenge the earlier round-robin defeat to the Stamps and scored two goals in the first period for a 2-0 lead. The second period was more of the same as the King Miners pushed the play and were rewarded with another goal. Score after two periods was 3-0. After a much needed break, the Stampeders came out in the third period looking to find their game.
Five minutes in, the Stampeders got their break when Thompson scored. The goal seemed to change the momentum of the game. With five minutes left, Campbell made the score 3-2 on a rocket from the left corner. The Stampeders continued to push the play and were rewarded with 1:53 remaining when Poole tied the game. Regulation time ended in a 3-3 tie and forced a 10 minute sudden-victory overtime.
The play went back and forth with the King Miners nearly ending it if it were not for a sprawling save by Werbicki. The overtime solved nothing so the game would be decided with a shoot out. In the shoot out Stampeders scored three times off the sticks of Campbell, Leask, and Zamzow.
The King Miners scored twice and needed a goal to extend the shoot out but Stampeders goalie Tibbett made the final save and end an epic battle. Final score 4-3.
Coming up
The Stampeders Atom A team will enjoy a short break as they gear up to head to Dauphin Dec. 7-9. In the new year, they will travel to Flin Flon from Jan. 4-6, The Pas from Feb. 1-3, and Thompson from Feb. 15-17, before making their final skate at Provincials from March 15-17 in Rivers.

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