Note: The following article and photos are reader submissions from a parent, coach, or player. Have your team highlighted on our website and in MiHockeyMag by e-mailing editor Michael Caples at email@example.com.
The District 3-based ‘96/’97 Michigan Ice Hawks won the 2013 Midget AA Division International Silver Stick Tournament held in Newmarket, Ontario the weekend of January 11, 2013. The team went 5-0-1 during the tournament, besting teams from throughout North America and Canada. The Ice Hawks are repeat champions, having won International Silver Sticks last year in Port Huron. They outscored their six opponents 24-6 during the tournament.
The Ice Hawks opened up against Richmond Hills, Ontario, winning 5-0. In the second game the Ice Hawks faced off against the Tampa Bay Scorpions. Again, the Ice Hawks found continued scoring prowess, beating the Scorpions, 5-1. In the third round-robin game, the Ice Hawks faced off against the Igloo Jaguars from New Jersey. In a closely-fought game, the Ice Hawks tied the Jags, 2-2, which was good enough to make it to the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinal game pitted the Ice Hawks against one of their rivals, the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. The game started out tight, but the Ice Hawks prevailed in the end, besting the Grizzlies 5-2. On Sunday, the team had to face Ontario’s No. 1 ranked ’97 AA team, the Mississauga Terriers. From the opening face-off, the Ice Hawks controlled the game. They scored one goal in the first period, and two in each of the next periods to prevail 5-0. The Terriers had entered the game averaging over 4 goals a game while surrendering only 1.6 goals a game.
The championship game proved to be quite the test as the Ice Hawks had to face the Warwick, Pennsylvania Wildcats. The Wildcats scored at the 8:20 mark of the first period to go up 1-0. The teams were then held scoreless entering the last half of the third period. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they committed a penalty with just 4:28 left from capturing the championship. The Ice Hawks did not squander the opportunity. Just nine seconds after the power play started, the Ice Hawks knotted the score 1-1. And that is the way regulation time ended and the teams headed to overtime. Seconds after the opening face-off of sudden death overtime, the Ice Hawks scored what looked like the winning goal. As the Ice Hawks poured off the bench to celebrate the championship, the referee was frantically blowing his whistle. He ruled no goal as he deemed the net was off its peg when the Ice Hawks scored. Undeterred, the Ice Hawks gathered up their equipment and regrouped to continue playing. Not to be denied, the Ice Hawks continued pressuring the Wildcats during the 4-on-4 overtime. At the 6:02 mark, the Ice Hawks scored on an end-to-end rush, thus securing the back-to-back International Silver Stick championships.