2024 North Vikings Inline Hockey Viking Cup – U15 Blackwood Beasts

This page will cover the Blackwood Beasts under 15 team’s journey at the North Vikings Inline Hockey Club’s Viking Cup played at the Gawler Recreation Centre, South Australia.  The Under 15 division had 5 teams contesting (4 Gawler Vikings teams and one from Blackwood, the Beasts).  A few individual interstate players bolstered the Gawler teams.  Each team would play 4 round robin games before finals.  Games comprised two 20min halves.  The Blackwood Beasts would play 3 games on Friday 19/04/2024, then the last round robin game on Saturday.

Game 1 – Vikings Fury v Blackwood Beasts 2-2

Goaltenders for the teams were Rory Moffat for the Beasts and Teagan Webster for the Fury.  The Beasts faced an uphill battle to start with as they had to play on a surface foreign to them on a much much smaller rink, some new players in the team and also being a 3-on-3 competition, rather than the 4-on-4 games at Blackwood.   Shots on goal were relatively even with neither team able to get past the opposition’s goaltenders until Fury’s Cruz McKechnie-Close opened the scoring, unassisted, at the 10:47min mark of the 1st half.  With just under 4mins left Fury’s Mitchell Johnston scored the second goal with the assist coming from Sienna Pike.  With just 1:46min remaining Beasts Hugo Shopov just squeezed one past the pads of Teagan Webster to get the Beasts on the board.  Shots on goal for the period were 16 for Fury and 13 for Beasts.  The 2nd period saw plenty of shots on goal but no breakthrough until Beasts Jordan Kutsche scored at the 10min mark with the assist from Maggie Prior.  The score remained the same until the end.  Shots on goal for the period was Fury 16 to the Beasts 10.

Game 2 – Blackwood Beasts v Vikings Flames 4-9

With 2 interstate guns, Cody Tomes-Park, an Aussie Roo seclected player (scoring 3 goals) and Cooper Beck (scoring 2 goals), the Flames were always going to be difficult to beat.  The Flames Violet Ferguson opened the scoring followed by 2 goals from Beasts Luke D’Onise to put the Beasts up early.  And then the Flames went on a rampage, scoring the next 4 goals to lead 5-2 at the halfway mark.  First goal for the 2nd half was scored by Beasts Callum von Einem in a fine wrap around goal.  But the joy for the Beasts was short-lived though as the Flames piled on the next 4 goals for an unassailable lead.  A late goal to Beasts Lucas Rickers reduced the margin to 4-9.

Game 3 – Vikings Thunder v Blackwood Beasts 9-4

Traditionally known as the “stacked” team of Gawler, the Thunder faced the Beasts in their 3rd game.  The Thunder had the formidable pair of Brady Morris and Phoenix Hansen which were going to be difficult to beat on their home rink.  Lucas Rickers of the Beasts would open the scoring with 18:25 on the clock (assist from Hugo Shopov).  Brady Morris would answer shortly afterwards at 17:49 (assist Alex Webster).  Brady Morris and Phoenix Hansen would then go on a scoring spree scoring the next 3 goals for a 4-1 lead, before Beasts Luke D’Onise would peg it back by one at 11:50.  Phoenix Hansen would restore the Ice’s 3-goal margin at 4:52 (assist from Chet Strawbridge).  Shots on goal saw Beasts Rory Moffat face 14 shots and Thunder’s Darcy Morris face just 6 shots.

Second period started the way of the Thunder as Tatum Morris teamed up with brother Brady to put the Thunder up by 4 goals.  The Beasts had little answers for the Brady Morris/Phoenix Hansen combo, but this was expected to be a very difficult game.  Tatum Morris would add another and the game started to look like a blowout might happen with the 5 goal margin.  The Beasts had to find something special to get back into the game.  Beasts coach Frank Kutsche set the Beasts an achievable task, to get the score back to 3-goals difference by the end of the game if they all dug deep.  The first 11 shots on goal for the half had all come from the Thunder.  Beasts Jordan Kutsche (yet another unassisted breakaway) would get one back at 11:41, with the score now 7-3.  At 9:53 Phoenix Hansen (unassisted) restored the goal margin back to 5 goals in favour of the Thunder.  Beasts Jordan Kutsche must have said “I can match that” and scored his second goal of the game, assisted by Luke D’Onise, but this had been after 6 shots on goal by the Thunder with none by the Beasts, such was the miserly Thunder defence.  With 5mins remaining Beasts Maggie Prior would be rewarded with her hard work to get the Beasts back to 5-8 which was the final score.  Shots on goal saw the Thunder pepper the Beasts goal with 25 shots to just 4 shots (although it was a case of quality over quantity and showed the extraordinary efforts of Beasts goaltender Rory Moffat facing the barrage).  Given the talent of the Thunder side the Beasts put up a gallant performance.

Game 4 – Beasts v Ice 2-3

Beasts had heard that the Vikings Ice team had late tournament inclusion, Grace Kalambokas (who was also playing in the premier division at the Viking Cup!) and Riley Anderson (Bendigo goaltender who had been so dominant as a player for the Div 2 adults Vikings Flames team) in their team.  The two teams showed a lot of respect to each other.  As expected Grace Kalambokas was the one to shut down the most, and her elusive pace carving a path through the middle and puck handling skill resulted in all 3 Ice goals.  A high-sticking penalty to Ice’s Cohen McMahon at 13:18 did not result in a change to the 0-0 score.  First goal of the game however went to Beasts Maggie Prior with 6mins remaining in the first half.  The Beasts had come to challenge the Ice!  Each player’s increased intensity at the puck was evident (something I said as coach must have worked :-).  At 4:11mins remaining a roughing minor to Beasts Callum von Einem, taking out one of the Ice’s female players (no, not Grace!) gave the Ice a chance to get back into the game.  The Beasts’ penalty kill unit saw off the penalty, but Grace Kalambokas would post the Ice’s first goal at 1:53 remaining, with the assist going to her goaltender Riley Anderson.  Shots on goal saw Beasts Rory Moffat face 13 shots and Riley Anderson face 17 shots.

The 2nd half started with Beasts Jordan Kutsche putting his team up 2-1 at the 18:29min mark.  The team’s joy was short-lived as Grace Kalambokas would level the score again at the 15:22 mark.  Grace would again find a way past the Beasts defence and post her 3rd goal of the game (assist to Jade Marley) with over 7mins to play.  The Beasts threw everything at Ice goaltender Riley Anderson (9 shots on goal to 2) but could not find a way past.  So the Ice prevailed in this close encounter.  In the 2nd half Ice’s Riley Anderson had face 16 shots to Rory Moffat facing just 6.

Quarter Final 4 v 5 – Vikings Fury v Blackwood Beasts 2-6

Return bout between 4th place finishing Fury and last place Beasts.  After their last strong game against the Vikings Ice, the Beasts were looking to bring that intensity to this game and make amends for their 2-2 draw last time.  The game started with a tripping minor to Beasts Jordan Kutsche less than a minute into the game.  Fury’s Cruz McKechnie-Close scored on the power play with under half a minute left in the penalty.  The assist came from William Menadue.  Again on the powerplay, the Fury scored, this time Mitchell Johnson with Menadue again the assist.  The Fury were stamping their authority on the game early.  At 14:32 Beasts Jordan Kutsche would cut the deficit to one goal and then with 6mins remaining in the half Callum von Einem would level the score.  Game on!!  The score would remain the same.  Shots on goal saw Beasts Rory Moffat face 12 shots, to Fury’s Teagan Webster facing 13.

Three minutes into the 2nd half, Beasts Hugo Shopov broke the deadlock and put the Beasts ahead.  The assist came from Lucas Rickers.  The Beasts were by now back to their previous game intensity and Jordan Kutsche would post his second goal of the game, unassisted again creating his own breakaways and no-one able to stay with him for a pass.  At the 13:43min mark Fury’s Alessia Varenica was sent to the sin bin for interference.  Beasts Luke D’Onise took the opportunity and put the Beasts in a commanding 5-2 position.  With 2 and a half mins remaining Jordan Kutsche, breaking through the defence again scored his hat trick goal.  Shots for the game saw Beasts Rory Moffat face 17 shots to Fury’s Teagan Webster facing 19 shots.  The Beasts were now off to the Bronze medal game.

Bronze Medal – Vikings Flames v Blackwood Beasts 8-6 Shootout

(Photos: Karen Kutsche for this game)  Although tired, the Beasts hatched a game plan.  Hit them hard, hit them early to show we were no easybeats after losing 4-9 previously against the Flames.  and that’s exactly what happened.    A bit over a minute into the game Jordan Kutsche opened the scoring, assist coming from Maggie Prior.  At 17:14 Beasts Luke D’Onise put the Beasts 2 goals up, silencing the Flames bench and supporters.  Who was this new Beasts team?  The Flames interstate guns Cody Tomes-Park (Aussie Roos player) and Cooper Beck struggled to get the usual game play going with the Beasts hard on the puck.  The Flames would need to knuckle down.  It took until the 4:23min mark for Cody to post the Flames first goal.  The assist came from Levi Mahonen.  It wasn’t like the Flames hadn’t put a lot of shots on goal.  In fact they dominated the shot count 18 to 7 for the period.  Beasts goaltender Rory Moffat was making some magnificent saves.

Into the 2nd half and Beasts Maggie Prior’s hard grunt work had paid off as she restored the 2 goal lead to the Beasts.  The assist came from Jordan Kutsche.  However, Fury’s Cooper Beck would reduce it back at 16:23, scoring unassisted.  At 14:46 Jordan Kutsche would once again restore the 2 goal lead to the Beasts showing the Flames team they could still match them.  The assist came from Callum von Einem.  At 7:17 Flames Ella Wandel headed to the sin bin for an interference minor.  Beasts Luke D’Onise made short work of it in the powerplay and scored, assisted by Maggie Prior.  The Flames were now in a whole lot of pain and needed the interstate guns and someone like Riley Barber (who it was found out was barred from playing for Blackwood by the Vikings committee) to salvage the game.   The Beasts on the other hand would need to wear those players like a glove.  At 4:31min Flames Cooper Beck reduced the margin back to 2 goals.  With just over a minute remaining Flames Cody Tomes-Park cut the deficit to 1 goal.  Winning the face off would be crucial and cool heads would be needed by the Beasts.  They would however be beaten by Riley Barber using a Michigan goal under Beasts goaltender Rory Moffat’s arm to tie the game.  A mad scramble ensued in front of the Beasts goal but the score remained and the game went to overtime.  The Flames had posted 17 shots on goal to the Beasts 7 shots.  Despite putting 4 shots to nil on goal in overtime the Flames could not find a way past Moffat.  All 3 shooters for the Flames scored, with only Hugo Shopov scoring for the Beasts.  Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Beasts can hold their heads high, having only just lost against a team hosting a couple of Aussie Roo players.