The Lakeland Hawks Bantam team had a strong showing in the “Cold Steel on Ice” tournament last weekend in Duluth, Minn.
The Hawks went 2-2 over the weekend’s play, earning a fourth place finish in the 12-team tournament that featured teams from Minnesota and Canada.
Lakeland took the ice first against one of the host teams, Duluth Black. Blake Berray scored in the first period to put the Hawks ahead, assisted by Aidan Byrnes and Will Taylor.
Duluth tied it up in the second period, but in the third Berray scored again with just 12 seconds left for the winning goal, assisted by Aidan Byrnes and Caleb Menzia. Goalie Nathan Pitek denied 24 of 25 Duluth shots for the exciting 2-1 win.
After the opening round win, Lakeland squared off against Blaine, Minn. Berray again started the scoring in the first period, assisted by Byrnes and Tanner Nicklaus.
Blaine tied the game later in the first on a power play goal, and the 1-1 tie held until the third period.
Lakeland ran away with the game in the final period, racking up three power play goals by Will Taylor, Blake Berray, and Caleb Menzia, with assists from Tyler Carroll, Max Ertl, Taylor, Nicklaus and Byrnes.
The two victories put the Hawks first in their round and sent the team into the championship bracket.
In the semifinal game against the Thunder Bay Elks, the Hawks fell in a close game, 3-1. Menzia, assisted by Byrnes and Garrett Holtz, scored Lakeland’s lone goal.
The semifinal loss moved Lakeland into the third place game against Duluth Red.
After Duluth took the lead in the first period, Carroll found Will Taylor to tie the game. Two lead changes took place in the second period, as Ertl scored a go-ahead goal, assisted by Taylor and Nicklaus, and Berray scored, assisted by Taylor and Menzia.
With 10 seconds left on the clock and the score tied, Duluth scored to hand Lakeland a heartbreaking loss and fourth place in the tournament.
Members of the Lakeland Hawks Bantam team are goalie Nathan Pitek, Bryce Gilbertson, Caleb Menzia, Matt Redenbaugh, Garrett Holtz, Aidan Byrnes, Tanner Nicklaus, Blake Berray, Max Ertl, Tyler Carroll, Will Taylor and Braeden Walker.
The team is coached by head coach Eric Boyer and assistant coach Kyle Ayvazzadeh.