Atom Stamps win Grub Box Cup!

Submitted by:
Craig Zamzow

On Feb 3-5, 2017 the Atom A Stampeders travelled to The Pas for the 39th annual Grub Box Cup.

Click any picture for a larger version.

Pictured above:
Back Row: Samantha Jo Moshenko, Crystal Zamzow, Maddix Eisner, Kai Gorchynski, Eli Betcher, Tavyn Boychuk, Christian Hart
Middle Row: Comrie Quill, Grace Kirk, Brady Burghart, Jackson Badowski, Andrew Pidskalny, Tucker Thompson
Front Row: Owen Martyniuk

They faced the Flin Flon Bombers Friday afternoon. Eli Betcher opened the scoring for the Stamps just over 2 minutes in as he jammed in a rebound. The goal didn’t faze the Bombers as they tied the game on a slap-shot, and then took the lead on the power play on a deflected shot from the point. With just under 3 minutes left in the first period the Bombers would find the back of the net one more time to take a 3-1 lead. In the final minute of the period Brady Burghart displayed some nifty stick handling and then beat the Bomber netminder high on the glove side. 3-2 Bombers after one period.

The second period saw the Stampeders work the Bombers dmen below the goal line and with six minutes left Burghart spun off a check and made a cross crease pass to Tavyn Boychuk who buried the one timer to tie the score at 3-3. With 3 minutes left in the second the Stamps were rewarded for another aggressive forecheck as Betcher created a turnover and got the puck to the net, as line mate Comrie Quill drove the crease and jammed home a loose puck for a 4-3 lead to the second intermission.

The Bombers opened the third on the power play and 21 seconds in, they converted on a rebound to tie score 4-4. Moments later Crystal Zamzow made a key poke check defending a 2 on 1 against a couple Bomber attackers to thwart a dangerous rush. With 12:38 left, Sammy Jo Moshenko took a Grace Kirk pass in the high slot, spun to the net, and went “bar down” for the go ahead goal courtesy of a goaltender screen from Maddix Eisner. 26 seconds later the Stampeders executed the dump and chase to perfection as Christian Hart got a puck in deep and a streaking Kai Gorchynski surprised the Bombers netminder as he buried a rebound the goalie wished he would have controlled. The 6-4 lead came courtesy ofsix different Stampeder goal scorers.With 3:08 left Tavyn Boychuk got his second of the game as he dangled his dman and rifled a wrister off the post and in on the glove side to seal the 7-4 victory.

Next up was the Dauphin Kings on Saturday morning. The Kings came out flying and had the Stampeders hemmed in their own end for much of the first 10 minutes. Fortunately Owen Martyniuk brought his “A” game between the pipes and made two big saves early to keep the game scoreless.

With 43 seconds left in the first period, the Stampeders earned their first power play. 8 seconds later it was over as Burghart split the dmen and went bar down to give the Stampeders a 1-0 lead to the first intermission.

4 minutes into the 2nd period the Kings took a desperation tripping penalty to give the Stamps their second chance on the PP. The Stamps weren’t quite as efficient this time, but 60 seconds later Betcher buried a Burghart feed for a 2-0 lead. Less than 2 minutes later Burghart scored on a pass from Eisner for a 3-0 lead into the second intermission.

3 minutes into the third, a Dauphin dman was forced to drag down Andrew Pidskalny on a rush. Moments later Betcher converted a give and go with Burghart for his second PP goal of the game. With 5 minutes remaining Jackson Badowski jumped into open ice and took a pass in stride from Boychuk, before undressing a dman and sniping a beauty past the netminder for a 5-0 Stamps victory. Owen Martyniuk picked up a well-earned shutout and was the difference in the first half of the game before the Stamps focused on using their speed.

After a two-hour break the Stamps were back on the ice to face a fresh and rested The Pas Huskies squad.

Three minutes in Matt O’Toole took a pass in full stride in the neutral zone, beat a Stamps dman, and made no mistake on a breakaway to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead that they held through the balance of the first period.

The Huskies played an aggressive and rugged style of play that led to some power plays but the Stamps were unable to convert.

Both goaltenders played very well and weren’t beaten in the second period. The Pas took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

With 6 minutes left in the third the Huskies took an undisciplined penalty on Moshenko in the slot. The Stamps PP made them pay, as a pinching Pidskalny fired a shot from the point that Moshenko deftly tipped past the Huskies netminder to tie the score at 1-1.

With the Huskies having to play Dauphin later in the day the Stamps pulled the goalie in an attempt to earn/guarantee a spot in the “A” final. Despite having the Huskies hemmed in their end for the last 45 seconds they were unable to pot the winner.

The Stampeders became Dauphin Kings fans on Saturday night as the local mathematicians and actuaries speculated about the numerous scenarios for the GF/GA ratio. Ultimately the Kings lost but scored a shorthanded goal in the last two minutes that made the difference. The Stampeders ratio was 0.722 and The Pas ratio was 0.720 meaning the Stampeders would advance to the “A” final vs the Flin Flon Bombers on Sunday.

The Bombers blasted out of the gates and their aggressive forecheck led to Stamps dmen (Pidskalny, Zamzow, and Badowski) being called on three consecutive penalties in the opening ten minutes. The Bombers finally converted on the third power play to open the scoring. That score held until two minutes into the second period when Tucker Thompson cut back against the flow on his off wing and sent a laser wrister towards the net. Eli Betcher had setup shop with the screen and deflected it high blocker side for the tying goal.

Four minutes later Kai Gorchynski pick pocketed a Bomber forward in the neutral zone and turned on his jets to drive wide on a dman before firing a low wrist shot that the Bomber net minder stretched to stop. Line-mate Christian Hart drove the net at full speed and somehow picked the rebound out of mid-air and deposited it into the net to give the Stampeders their first lead at 2-1.
The score held until the final minute of the second period when the Bombers’ Wyatt Stinton sent a perfect saucer pass from below the goal line and Bobby Smith made no mistake one-timing it into the corner to tie the game at two headed to the second intermission.

90 seconds into the 3rd period Pidskalny’s crisp break out pass hit Burghart in full flight who burst down the left wing wide on the dman. As he started to cut hard to the net he zipped a heavy wrister over the surprised goalie’s blocker to give the Stampeders the 3-2 lead.

Just 30 seconds later the Stampeders were called for a body contact penalty. Goaltender Owen Martyniuk continued his rock solid play on the weekend with a couple huge saves and the penalty killers cleared the zone quickly to relieve the pressure and kill it off.

With 9 minutes remaining Thompson hit Burghart in the neutral zone who made a great toe drag move on the defender to free up his stick and then in one motion sizzled a wrister high blocker side to find the twine again.

The Bombers got a second wind and hemmed the Stamps in for longer stretches than the club liked. They pulled their goalie with just under two minutes remaining. Badowski (who was rock solid on the blueline all weekend) made a beauty poke check on the Bombers top puck carrier moments before blocking a shot that looked to be heading for the net in a scramble. With 40 seconds left Badowski picked up a rebound lugged the puck out of the defensive zone beat a dman wide before back handing the puck into the empty net for a 5-2 final and capture the Grub Box Cup.

The coaching staff was thrilled with the combination of timely scoring, solid goaltending, and tenacious defensive play by all 13 skaters. To only give up 3 goals over the last 3 games against AA competition was very impressive and almost brought a tear to the eye of an old defenceman (enough to forget a couple Saturday night curfew violations).

The club gets one weekend off before their last two tournaments. They head to Thompson for the Munn Cup on Feb 17-19 and then host Atom A Provincials in Swan River on March 3-5.