Callum McCormick wasn’t going to stop shooting until the puck started going in.
After being denied on two golden scoring chances early, McCormick came come through with two goals to spark the Emo Express White to a 5-3 victory over the Causeway Cougars in Sunday’s final of the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association’s Atom ‘A’ tournament at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Blake Kreger opened the scoring for Emo just over seven minutes into the game with a great drive to the net.
He initially was stopped by Cougars’ goalie Jarrett Aucoin but managed to whack home the rebound while sliding through the crease.
McCormick was awarded a penalty shot six minutes later after being hauled down from behind on a breakaway.
He got Aucoin down with a deke but backhanded the puck over the net.
Less than a minute later, McCormick broke in alone from centre ice and tried a deke to the forehand–only to have Aucoin lunge to get the paddle of his stick down in time to make the stop.
That seemed to fire up the Cougars, who responded with the only goal of the second period.
Jake Woolsey picked up the puck off a scrambled draw, darted behind the net, and centered it to Triston Morrison, who banked a shot off an Express skate and into the net to even things up.
McCormick finally hit paydirt 1:24 into the third when he wired a wrist shot over Aucoin’s glove to make it 2-1.
Kreger then stole the puck behind the Causeway net, wheeled out front, and slid it into the lower left corner less than a minute-and-a-half later for his second of the game.
The Cougars countered with two goals in just over a minute.
Brett Brown kept the puck on a 2-on-1 and muscled a shot through Express goalie Karson Loughrey before Grady Holden’s quick pass down low was redirected in one motion by Cohen Ossachuk to suddenly make it 3-3.
But it only took 1:10 for Emo to regain the lead on goals by Parker Booth and McCormick.
The Express didn’t get off to an ideal start on Friday–losing their opening game 2-1 to Fort Frances Family Motor Sports.
Peyton Cousineau and Jace Alexa scored for Fort Frances while Kreger had the only tally for Emo.
It was a different story in their second game as Callum McCormick notched four goals while Kreger added three to fuel an 8-0 romp over AtoMc Lake of the Woods Blizzard.
Karsyn McQuaker had Emo’s other goal, with Loughrey earning the shutout.
Callum McCormick then had a hat trick in Emo’s 7-0 wipeout of the Ear Falls Eagles.
Kreger, Kolton McCormick, and Booth each scored once (the other goal scorer was not identified) while Loughrey again posted the shutout.
Booth had the game-winner in the third as the Express closed out the preliminary round with a 3-2 win over Fort Frances Rainy Lake Attack.
Kolton McCormick and Callum McCormick also scored for Emo while Kale Nelson and Tuck Calder replied for the Attack.
In the semi-finals, Callum McCormick racked up another four-goal effort as the Express blitzed AtoMc Black Knights 6-1.
Booth and Alexzander Degrechie added singles for Emo.
The Cougars, meanwhile, also dropped their first game 3-2 to the Emo Express Green.
Austin Mosbeck netted a pair for Emo, with Jaelin McGinnis getting the other goal, to counter tallies by Evan Wright and Woolsey.
The Cougars broke into the win column with an 8-2 victory over the Dryden Predators. Brown and Griffin Webb each had a hat trick, with Wright and Piper Felix adding singles.
The Cougars then won an all-Fort matchup with Gillons’ by a 5-2 score.
Wright scored twice, with Webb, Elena Copenace, and Felix adding one goal apiece as Miranda Wilson and Nolan DeGagne replied for Gillons’.
Causeway edged the Black Knights 3-2 to conclude the preliminary round on goals by Webb (two) and Wright.
A low-scoring semi-final duel with the Attack ended in a 2-0 Cougars’ win.
Aucoin was flawless in goal while Wright and Webb supplied the offence.
Rainy Lake tried to salvage the day in the bronze-medal game but fell 6-3 to the Black Knights.
Calder scored twice for the Attack, with Landon Flinders netting the other one.
The Attack opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over the Blizzard on goals by Nelson, Brighton Pollard, and Calder.
Flinders, Pollard, Calder, and Simon Blanchard all scored in the Attack’s 4-0 win over Ear Falls.
Rainy Lake then kept up their roll with a 5-2 triumph over Family Motor Sports.
Nelson notched two goals, with singles going to Garrett Hannah and Calder (the fourth scorer was unavailable).
Family Motor Sports captured the fifth-place final in the 10-team tournament by downing Gillons’ 4-1.
Nikolas Ruppenstein chalked up two goals for the victors while Dylan Presenger and Alexa had singles.
Gage Mitchell earned the win in goal–only giving up a goal by Riley Windigo.
Ozzy Hanson ran wild with five goals, including a natural hat trick, as Family Motor Sports sped past Ear Falls 9-1.
Alexa also netted a hat trick while River Whitecrow-Spoon added a single.
Hanson netted another three goals in a 7-2 thumping of the Blizzard.
Nicholas Ogden added a pair of markers while Alexa and Whitecrow-Spoon had one each.
Gillons’ began its weekend with a 3-2 defeat over the Black Knights.
Benjamin Gosman and DeGagne each scored for Gillons’, which then blanked the Predators 5-0.
DeGagne had the first two goals before Windigo notched a natural hat trick.
David Morrison registered the shutout.
Windigo and DeGagne each connected for two goals, while Caleb Bouvier netted one, in a 5-3 triumph over Emo Express Green.
Mosbeck tallied twice and assisted on Taytum Councillor’s tally for Emo, which finished 2-2 at the tourney.
The Express Green was toppled 8-2 by the Black Knights, with Mosbeck accounting for both markers for Emo, but romped to a 7-0 win over the Predators.
Mosbeck had a hat trick as part of a five-point outing while Councillor and McGinnis added two goals each.