Eagles score tournament championship

  • Published
  • By the Hanscom Sports Guru
  • Hansconian Staff Writer
Recently, Hanscom's Eagles ice hockey team was invited to participate in another local tournament. Traveling to Hudson, N.H., the Eagles hoped that both their previous experiences and a little luck would be on their side. 

"Going into a tournament, you never know what to expect," said Eagles Coach Pat DeMichele. "Different teams from different cities and states means that the competition will always bring something new." 

The first game on the ice proved the coach's statement as fact. After falling behind 2-0, the Eagles fought back, hard, to a 5-3 victory over the very talented Chiesa team. The following day's tournament wasn't quite as difficult for the Eagles. 

The Mickey's Sports team fell victim to the talent of Eagle's Right Wing Johnny Williamson and team captain Brian Rodgers -- who scored two goals a piece on the ice. Ultimately, through the solid defense work of Reggie Chambers and Tim Jennings, Eagles goaltender Steve Willey only allowed two goals. The Eagles gained a solid victory, 8-2, and made a statement for Team Reigeluth, who they would play against that evening. 

But victory isn't easy. Our tired Hanscom squad faced-off against another talented line in their game against Reigeluth. "Coming back that evening with only 10 skaters was a difficult task," said Tim Jennings. "You come to learn there is no shape like 'hockey shape.' You can lift, work-out and run all you like, but hockey finds a way to wear you out." 

The game against Reigeluth was the Eagles third in 24 hours, a feat only few professionals attempt. For the first, second and most of the third period, it was a neck-and-neck race up the score board between the almost evenly matched teams. 

Eventually, the Eagles broke through, taking the lead with five minutes remaining in the third period on a goal from team captain Brian Rodgers. Following in the skates of his leader, Jay Riley found an empty net point with less than a minute left in the game -- bringing the final score to 4-2. Based on solid performances, an undefeated record and impressive point totals, the Eagles faced-off against Chiesa once again in the final round to vie for the title. 

With only two minutes remaining in the second period of the championship game, with the score tied 1-1, Eagles Defenseman Jonathan Scofield collided with a member of the opposing Chiesa team, crushing both into the boards. In his attempt to shake off the hit and muscle on, a realization overcame the defenseman -- he was badly hurt. While being helped off the ice to await transport to the local Emergency Room, he turned to his teammates and said, "Beat these guys." 

Less than a minute later, Scofield would look back on his way to the locker room to see Brian Rodgers score and the Eagles go up 2-1 at the end of the second. Striving to leave everything on the ice and win for their injured comrade, the third period brought two more goals from the Eagles -- including one from Brian Rodgers, who showed off his best hat-trick for the crowd. Chiesa attempted to fight back but could only muster one more goal, allowing the Eagles to capture the title, 4-2. 

"In the grand scheme of things, the tournament wasn't too much of a big deal," Scofield said. "It was the fact that my teammates -- my friends -- stepped up for me and made my injury a little sweeter. They got the job done and I couldn't be more proud." 

To date, the Eagles have now brought home an additional two championship trophies this year. From Aug. 3 to 5, the team travels to Waterville Valley, N.H. to participate in a tournament that has proven to be very challenging in the past. Waterville will be the Eagles' last stop on the road to the Armed Forces Championship. The Hanscom squad is slated to travel to Nellis Air Force Base, where they will seek to defend their three-time championship standing at the 5th Annual Armed Services Hockey Classic in November. Until then, the team needs Hanscom's support -- go online to www.hanscomafbhockey.com to learn more information about the upcoming tournament.