BANTAM ICE EAGLES YEAR IN REVIEW 98-99
The book is closed on this year's bantam travel season. The final record was 29-19-1, but that doesn't tell much of the story. As the father of a first year bantam, I had a lot of questions going through my mind when Jerry held the first tryouts back in September. With bantam-eligible players Nick King and Ted Thompson electing to play midget, I knew we would be young, and probably not too physical. And we would not only be moving up in age group, but also stepping up in class to AA. And who was that kid in the orange socks?
Easy wins over Champaign during the first two weeks of the season were a little misleading, as we came to find out when we battled against Pekin and Springfield. It was pretty obvious we weren't quite ready for those teams, (although we came close a couple of times); but it was just as clear that the Eagles were a notch above the rest of the CIHL.
In many ways, the Seven Bridges Thanksgiving Tournament was the one that we will all remember -- for a variety of reasons. On the positive side, there was the unbelievable shoot-out victory against Toronto, then followed by the heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Oak Lawn in the championship game. And of course, the devastating season-ending injuries to Brian and Will, two key performers. Until that weekend, I was sure that the serious injuries only happened to other teams.
From that point on, we were a different team, literally. The injuries, and the subsequent addition of Drew, Chad and Tom meant Jerry had to reshuffle lines and positions for the last two thirds of the season.
The Eagles were a fairly predictable team -- they rarely lost to a weaker team (the exception being the Evanston game in the Zion Tournament). But they had trouble beating the teams with more talent, with the exception being the thriller over Toronto.
For what it's worth, here are some of the things I'll remember about this hockey season:
--Most exciting moments
--Most disappointing loss
--Most Memorable Offensive Play
--Most Memorable Defensive Achievement
--Most Thugs on a team
--Best Opponent "A" team
--Best Opponent "AA" team
It was a very good season, and credit should be given to all those who contributed:
And especially to Jerry Moon. All of us, players and parents alike, were lucky to have a knowledgable and classy guy like Jerry running the program. Unlike some of our opponents, our kids play the game the way it's supposed to be played, and that's directly attributable to Coach Moon.
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