October has seen the Wheatfield Blades 16U TB team win two major tournaments in the last three weeks.

With wins over Pittsburgh Icemen (2x), Reston Raiders, South Pittsburgh Rebellion, Ashburn Xtreme, and the Niagara Junior Purple Eagles, the Blades (Ranked #3 Nationally at Tier 2 Tournament Bound) took the Niagara Pucktoberfest Tournament title with a perfect 6-0 record.  The Blades outscored their opponents 26-3 and posted two shutouts.

After sandwiching a State Tournament Qualifying Game win over #6 Nationally ranked Cheektowaga, the Blades embarked on a trip to Detroit, Michigan to play in 200 x 85’s prestigious CCM Motown Tournament.  This tournament saw 24 teams from seven different states (NY, PA, MI, IL, VA, WA, TX, AZ) compete for the title.  Several top 25 Tier 2 teams were in attendance.

After their round-robin schedule, including decisive wins over Armstrong Arrows and Dallas Penguins together with a 2-2 tie with Detroit-based Metro Jets, the Blades secured the 4th seed in the Championship round.  Following a spirited 6-4 win over #22 ranked Orland Park Vikings (Chicago, Illinois), the Blades entered the Quarterfinals against #16 Steel City (PA) Ice Renegades with a shot at the finals on the line.

In a tightly contested, defensive struggle, featuring outstanding goaltending on both sides, the Blades found themselves down 1-0 with less than a minute to play.  With netminder Tyler Pritchard on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Center Luke Marchant scored the equalizer on a net front scramble with 43.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

Following a scoreless 5-minute, 4-on-4 session, the teams moved to a 2nd 3-on-3 overtime period.  With less than a minute remaining before a shootout, defenseman Max Henning received a Derek Johnson pass, made a strong move along the goal line, shed a defender, eluded a poke check, and deposited the winner in the far side, sending the jubilant Blades to their second tournament final in 3 weeks.

Awaiting them in the finals was National #1 Chicago Bulldogs, 5-0 in the tournament to that point.  After erasing 1-0 and 2-1 Bulldog leads, the Blades pulled away, ultimately vanquishing the vaunted Bulldogs 7-2.  Tournament MVP Derek Johnson, Forward Jett Malczewski, and goaltender Quincy Unger had standout performances in the Championship game.

In NYS play, the Blades continue their march toward a State Tournament bid with remaining Q games against National #7 Power City Bruins (10/26) Southtowns Stars (10/29), #6 Cheektowaga Warriors (11/2), and Rochester Coalition (11/5).

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