CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Dylan MacDonald sprung Emmett Lyons on a shorthanded breakaway with less than five minutes to play in a tied game and a Spud championship hanging in the balance.
“Honestly, I didn't no whether to shoot, deke or what, so I just kind of faked a shot, put it five-hole,” the 16-year-old forward said. It was an “amazing feeling after that.”
MacDonald scored the winner as the Sherwood Drug Mart Central Attack defeated the Pownal Taco Boyz Red Devils 3-2 in the midget final of the 43rd annual P.E.I. Source for Sports Spud Hockey Tournament Sunday at MacLauchlan Arena.
The Attack is a newly formed team this year with Charlottetown and Sherwood squads amalgamating.
MacDonald said he played in the Spud since novice.
“But never like this. I’ve probably never been out of the round robin through my years in Sherwood and (this is) such a great group of guys to win it with.”
Keegan Mitchell opened the scoring for the Red Devils midway through the first period, but the lead was short-lived as Joey Hood tied it a minute later. Braden Donnelly gave the Attack the lead with 4:39 left in the first period.
The score remained 2-1 until Nick Steele scored a highlight reel goal with 6:24 left in the third period.
“Steele is a great player,” Attack captain Patrick Young said. “We tried to shut them down, but with their calibre, it’s so hard. When he scored it was devastating, but we knew the game wasn't over and we had a lot more in the tank.”
With Pownal pressing for the go-ahead goal on the power play, Lyons was sent in all alone and everyone on the Attack bench standing to see what would happen.
“When we saw the puck hit the mesh, we went nuts and it was indescribable. It was amazing,” Young said.
Central head coach Chris McCabe said he was proud of the way his team responded after Pownal tied it late in a tight hockey game.
“That's a real momentum shift,” he said. “For us to go back and score that third goal to put us up again, late in the game, it just shows the character of the kids and they deserve it.”
Matthew MacAulay, Young, Nick Brown and Tyler Hashmi had assists for Central while Dawson Palmer had two for Pownal and singles went to Steele and Sammy Docherty.
Matthew Halliwell recorded the win while Trevor Whalen took the loss.
The Attack (9-15-1) sits in fourth place in the Prince Edward Island Midget AAA Hockey League while Pownal (14-9-2) is second. The Robin’s Mid-Isle Matrix (20-4-3) leads the way and Kings County Kings (12-8-5) are third in the six-team circuit.
“This shows that we are capable of so many things,” Young said. “We were struggling before this tournament and this tournament is changing everything.”
“This tournament turned everything around for us,” Lyons said. “Hopefully we can win the league.”
The Attack has five regular season games remaining, starting with back-to-back games with the Western Regals Tuesday in Alberton at 8:15 p.m. and Wednesday at MacLauchlan Arena at 6:30 p.m.
“We’ve peaked at the right time,” McCabe said. “We’re where we want to be right now.”
Young, a 17-year-old defenceman from Charlottetown, began his midget career with a Spud championship and will bookend it with another.
“It’s something I never would have dreamed of,” he said. “To be here with these guy, and to come in (to this tournament) and change our season around, and come home as champions is unbelievable.”
A look at the final scores of the championship games at the 43rd annual P.E.I. Source for Sports Spud Hockey Tournament.
Charlottetown 5 Sherwood 3
Bedford 8 Sackville 3
Moncton 5 Charlottetown 4
ACA Rangers (NS) 3 Moncton 2 (3OT, goal scored 11 seconds into 2-on-2)
Central Attack 3 Pownal Red Devils