Do you believe in miracles?
If you are a member of the Hat Trick Swayzes, then the answer is a definitive YES!
Much like their namesake, the TSN newsroom-based team ‘Dirty Danced’ away with the first annual TSN Road Hockey Fall Classic title with a thrilling shootout victory over the Sandstorms.
“It’s a surreal feeling right now,” said HTS captain Scott Hart. “It was a team effort all the way. I may have put together the team, but they’re the reason we won.”
Hart’s team, consisting of Jordan Coffey, Patrick Kiernan, Brandon Booth, Drew Morrison, Brad Kennedy and Eric Ball stormed through the round robin a perfect 3-0 and dispatched Team 40/30 in the quarterfinals, followed by a victory over Team Traffic in the semis.
That set up a titanic clash in the final with the Sandstorms.
The tension in the TSN Outdoor arena, located in Carzakhastan on the CTV campus, was palpable heading in to the finals as a pair of unbeaten titans took to the blacktop. Both sides had to deal with exhaustion as well as the elements.
“The heat made it a battle out there today,” admitted Swayze sniper Eric Ball. “It was a struggle.”
The teams traded goals in regulation to force overtime. When neither team was able to break the stalemate in the extra period, a shootout was needed.
The intensity was turned up yet another notch but Swayzes' goaltender Brad Kennedy answered the call when his team needed him the most, stoning all three shooters he faced.
It was left up to Patrick Kiernan.
With the game on his stick, he made no mistake, beating the Sandstorms' keeper, securing the title for the Swayzes and sending the TSN Arena into a frenzy. For those on the bench, it was a once in a lifetime feeling.
“Ecstasy, pure ecstasy” said Swayzes' Drew Morrison when attempting to describe the game winner.
Unfortunately as in every epic struggle, there must be a loser; while the Sandstorms lost with dignity and class, team Captain Greg Sands admitted it was a devastating defeat.
“Watching the Patrick Swayze's celebrate with the trophy was hard to take,” said Captain Sands. “We didn't lose a single game in regulation or overtime and all we are left with is a hollow feeling, but I'm proud of the guys and give credit to the Patrick Swayze's”.
The inaugural TSN Road Hockey Fall Classic proved to be an enormous success with 20 teams across the TSN family entered. The tournament organizers and guest referees deserve a great deal of credit for keeping the games moving and ensuring a good time was had by all.
"The inaugural TSN Road Hockey Fall Classic was a huge success," said Fall Classic Commissioner Renee Rouse. "The sun was shining, the play was competitive and everyone gave their 110%. It was a great day for TSNers."