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11-13-2004, 10:37 PM
two out of three*
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Newbury Park, CA
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I played Bantam A for my local travel team the Ventura Mariners, I can honestly say that this was where my best hockey experiences came from. (so far.) We had a lot of talent on our team, and a good coach. He taught us the man to man defense, instead of your tipical Zone Defense. He had us breaking out well, regrouping, dumping and chasing, taking the puck wide, we were a really good team. We were a 80's team for sure. We listen to bands like "The Who" before games, and all had shaggy hair coming out of our helmets.

There were a lot of teams in this division, as a lot of clubs sported A teams that particular year. 21 Teams to be exact. The Top 8 made the playoffs. We finished in the top 4. The North Valley Tigers, Yorba Linda Blackhawks, and La Jolla Jaguars, and us were the teams to beat (supposedly.. everyone slept on the Desert Coyotes.)

The playoffs were round robin style so we played every team in our bracket once in the "quarter-finals." We entered game 1, and against a team called the Beach City Lightning. We fell behind 3-1, and scored to make it 3-2 with about 3:00 left to go in the 3rd. Time was winding down, and we needed a victory here, because we had the Jags, and Tigers in the upcoming games. We couldn't get anything going till about 24 seconds left..

Everyone was standing on the bench, with their shaggy hair. The fans were stomping their feet against the stands to make noise. Kyle Castile took the draw, and won it back to our hot shot Tyler Gilmore. He took the shot, the goalie made a save, and a rebound squirted back to a crashing Jeremy Wicks and he buried the tying goal with 19 seconds left. Overtime #1 began.. no score.

Overtime #2.. The same Jeremy Wicks lead the charge with a 2-on-1 break, takes a shot and the goalie fumbled with it, and the puck trickled in, and we celebrated a double OT victory. That for me was one of the greatest experiences I've ever been involved with. We wen't to the semi-finals, and lost a heartbreaker 4-3 to the eventual "SCAHA" champs the Desert Coyotes.

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