Thursday, January 13, 2011
A Modern Day Miracle On Ice
A Modern Day Miracle On Ice
by Lysander Mite A hockey mom Dawn O'Neill
Let me introduce myself...I'm the mom of the Lysander Lightning Mite A Goalie, Bradley O’Neill. I would like to share with you what any parent on the Mite A team is sure to describe as a pure MIRACLE ON ICE.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Some of you may be old enough to remember the original Miracle On Ice that happened so many years ago when a team of teenage college boys stole the hearts of the world on the road to an Olympic Gold Medal, when they defeated what seemed like an unbeatable Russian team. Fast forward to January 2011, Brockville, Canada…It all started this past Friday night when the Mite A team of the Lysander Lightning began their first Canadian tournament as the only American team that had entered. What I did not know was once our coaches found out we were playing against 23 Canadian teams in the higher division, they tried to drop us down to the next lower division so as not to overwhelm our boys and ensure they had a positive and fun experience. But, BOY OH BOY, did we underestimate our kids!
This team of all 8-year old boys was PUMPED to say the least! During the locker room pep talks, these young boys with such heart kept chanting “USA, USA, USA!” They began their first game with such energy that it turned many Canadian heads and made them stand up and pay attention to this team of strong contenders. The game was exciting; the boys played phenomenally, and won 4-0 (Zach Cole was MVP!). As is customary, my proud goalie son led the team in a traditional sportsman-like handshake with their opponent and he waited to step off the ice last. As he came off the ice, he excitedly declared, “Mom, that was my FIRST shutout!” While proud and chilled at the thought, this is not where the Miracle occurred.
Saturday morning came and we were to face a very strong Canadian team. The boys came out with the same exuberance and heart they had played with the night before. However, the outcome was not to offer the same results. The team was defeated 3-1, but they came off smiling and proud (Lucas Hoskin was MVP!). It was not until later that day that we all discovered these young 8-year old boys had advanced to the Gold Medal bracket of 8 teams (out of 24) and were to play at 8 a.m. the next morning against the hometown Brockville Braves. Knowing they could relax the rest of the day, we all enjoyed some swimming, knee hockey, and a bonding team/parent EARLY dinner with the goal of curfew by 8 p.m.!
Sunday morning came and this is where the Miracle began…
The boys knew that if they were able to win their morning game, they would advance to the semi-finals and play later that day. They were excited and full of so much energy. The music was rocking in the locker room! We all wished them luck and told them to have fun as us parents left the locker room to pace the bleachers of what was to be THE MOST exciting game we had EVER experienced!