The annual tradition known simply as the Haverhill cup took place Saturday March 29 at the waterfront park in Lawrence, MA. It had an auspicious start for me as the court was half covered with ice and snow. It reminded me that hockey is best played on ice in the winter, but I digress… this was street hockey at it’s finest. Played with 10 foot fences all around and a brand new resurfaced court to boot. It was the beginning of an epic day.
The Haverhill cup is such a huge event that there is always a draft to choose the 5 players for each team. The team captain names were chosen from picking names from a hat. Pick 1, 2, 3 and 4. The team captains all played ice hockey with us, on occasion, some more than others. They were Jared, Brett JB and John Riley (Riley may not have ever played in Acton).
What, Ron isn’t a captain? Nope, my love and devotion is all for ice hockey, but the real reason is these guys all earned being team captains by playing alot of street hockey. But I like to get out there at times and muck it up with the guys and the Haverhill Cup is a can’t miss event.
So after like 4 or 5 redrafts the teams were finally set. What, 4 or 5 redrafts? This happened when players had to withdraw due to injuries or other commitments that arise and ya probably throw Ecc 9:11 in there too.
In addition to the draft the team captains also made trades after the fact. Primarily to fill holes or to get that coveted goalie, etc.
The tournament starts with a single round robin and then seeded for a best of three playoff. The 2 winning teams advance to play for the Haverhill cup.
Team Jared had a very, very slow and otherwise bad start. We were outscored about 10-3 in the first 2 games. We were giving up breakaways here and there, weren’t moving the ball very well, losing battles in the corners, and just didn’t look ready to play. Some were doubting whether Jared’s team could contend for the cup, even a player or two on the team as well.
Jared pulled the team together for a team meeting. Insisted on everyone having a beer for the occasion. (I asked and was given a pass on having a beer at that time). With his team searching for answers, Jared came up with a master plan. Some bold moves were made, he moved me to defense, Ignacio moved to wing and Mike and Jared were going to work the corners to get the ball to the net for hopefully some more goals, alot more goals.
The strategy began to pay off, not on offense, but with team defense. The final regular season game we won 1-0. However, it was the first playoff game when things came together as we won 6-1 or maybe 7-1. Fueled with confidence we went into to game 2 looking to end team Johnny’s goal of getting to play for the cup (Johnny’s team had Eric… jet blue Eric and yes he’s just as dangerous on street as he is on ice).
Johnny came out in game 2 strong and eventually took a commanding 3-1 lead, I think scoring 3 unanswered goals. As the time ticked down late in the final half, Jared called a time out. Huddling the team together, Jared simply said, guys let’s leave it all out on the court. When play resumed, Jared did what Jared does best, he came though and scored. With only minutes remaining, the duo of Jared and Mike came though in the clutch again to score the tying goal. The period ended… time for the shoot out.
Johnny went first and scored on a nice deak. Then Jared’s team was next and Mike stepped up and also scored on a move he said he was gonna use all along. Nice goal. Eric went next and deaked but just missed as Tony might have poked Eric’s stick very slightly. I went next and pretty much choked, I wanted to shoot, looking up all the way, the ball wasn’t on my stick. I blame the water on the court, but should of known better. Next player was Andrew for Johnny’s team, he failed to score on a deak. Then a move that NOBODY COULD OF IMAGINED…
Jared decided to put it all in Iggy’s hands, passing on taking the next shoot out try. WHAT? I wasn’t the only one questioning that move. Iggy came down from center ice, stick handed a couple times and wristed a shot, BOOM… top self! Wow, our team erupted. We were elated to say the least. What a sweet shoot out goal that was. Team Jared was moving on to play for the cup.
The other match up was Team JB and Team Nick. Where was Brett in all this? Unfortunately Brett rolled his ankle the week before (for the 2nd or 3rd time) and had to pull out for obvious reasons.
Nobody gave Nick’s team much of a chance once the teams were finally set. However, they were the surprise team of the tournament. They manged to win games with might and determination. Nick Burton played out of his mind. Mike D also exceeded expectations. Everyone was surprised, maybe expect for team Nick, at how well they played. The two teams split the first couple games and needed the rubber match. That game ended in a tie. It was an epic battle. The shoot out came to decide who would face team Jared for the Haverhill cup. It was JB’s team who came out on top.
The stage was set for the final game, the rain had long been coming down and it was time to finish this thing. Team Jared scored the first goal. There was an immediate push back from JB’s team, but their tired legs began to show. Team Jared scored the second goal and before the first half ended Jared scored the 3rd goal for the 3-0 half time lead. When the 2nd half began, Jared and Mike began to smell blood and were out hustling for possession, scoring to make it 4-0, then 5-0. The only thing left was could Tony get the shutout victory, nope Billy T scored on a nice feed from JB to give them their lone goal.
It was time to celebrate. The cup made it’s triumphant entrance, and as the tradition goes, the cup was given to the team captain first. After taking a lap around the court Jared passed it to yours truly for his moment in the sun. It was a sweet victory, long time coming for sure. After the cup made it through the rest of the team we had the team’s victory picture.
So Jared defends the Haverhill Cup by winning it again. Last years team was captain Jared, Mike W, Scot F, Brian and goalie Bobby. This year Jared and Mike are repeat Champs. Can Jared get the Three-peat next spring? Teams will be gunning to not let that happen. We shall see.
So there you have it, the Hockey8.com Haverhill cup recap. Have any questions about players, stats or anything completely unrelated? Please comment.