On Remembrance Day weekend, the U11 Thunder Bay Fury travelled to Minneapolis to participate in the St Paul Capital Cup Tournament.
Up first was an early morning game against the Minneapolis Storm. A fast paced, hard checking, back and forth defensive battle ensued. Minneapolis struck first and led 1-0 until Alexis Eusepi found the back of the net to tie it at 1. The score would stay that way and the game seemed destined for overtime, until, with a minute left, Tatum Bannister's point shot beat the Storm goalie and gave the Fury a 2-1 lead. The Fury went into lockdown mode and Chloe Tanner shut the door as the Fury skated away with a character building 2-1 victory.
The Fury hit the ice again in the afternoon to battle the undefeated Waseca Blue Jays. The Fury started fast, with Kensie Bragnalo and Rylee Pucci netting a goal and an assist each, staking the Fury to a 2-0 first period lead. Waseca scored on a rebound late in the first, stealing back the momentum and closing the gap to one. An early second period penalty found the Fury down a player when Harper Lilley and Chloe Clausen broke down the ice, with Chloe potting a short handed marker to restore the 2 goal lead. The girls continued their tenacious, hard battling play with Alexis Eusepi, Stevie Oster and Peyton Lavoie all netting second period markers and extending the lead to 5. The Fury continued to roll, with Lavoie, Pucci and Eusepi each popping their second of the game, while Avery Williamson and Harper Lilley rounded out the scoring, sending the Fury to the final with an 11-1 victory.
The Championship game was a battle of the undefeated, as the Fury entered hostile territory to challenge the host St. Paul Capitals. The Fury would enter the game short handed, as Mya Tempelman was not available for the final game. The Capitals came out strong, Capital-izing on an early break and slipping one past Chloe Tanner to take a 1-0 lead and send the home town fans into a frenzy. The Fury were determined and continued their attack, and midway through the first, Alexis Eusepi would quiet the St. Paul fans, ripping a shot past the Capitals goalie and tying the game at 1. The tight back and forth action would continue throughout the second period with the Fury and Capitals engaged in a Championship Classic. Late in the second, Chloe Clausen picked up a loose puck and found the back of the net to give the Fury their first lead of the game. The score remained 2-1 into the third, when the Capitals again broke free on Chloe Tanner. Tanner stood tall, making an incredible save to maintain the one goal advantage. Moments later, Peyton Lavoie would pick up a loose puck and skate coast to coast, popping one past the St. Paul netminder and energizing the Thunder Bay Cheering Section. Sensing the possibility of a Championship, the Fury found another gear, with Rylee Pucci netting two third period markers and Harper Lilley finishing off the scoring. The Fury counted down the seconds, securing the St. Paul Capital Cup with a solid 6-1 victory and beginning a raucous celebration.
An amazing "Cup Presentation" by the Tournament organizers left the Fury players, coaches and parents in awe, as the arena lights went out while a door slowly opened, revealing a white gloved attendant carrying the Capital Cup onto the ice for the Team. An incredible weekend of bonding was only highlighted by the Championship celebration. 9 different players found the back of the net on the weekend, while every player recorded at least one point. The compliments that the Fury received from the other teams and the Tournament organizers was the true weekend highlight. Amusement park rides, pizza parties and an NHL game were pretty cool too.
The girls represented TBWHA with class and demonstrated sportsmanship throughout the weekend. We are so proud of every single player.