In the same month that the Carolina Hurricanes brought home the Stanley Cup, the Fayetteville Middle School bantams grabbed the ’Canes Cup from favored Hillsborough in the Raleigh Youth Hockey Spring League championship game.
After compiling a 6-3-1 won-lost-tied record in the regular season, Fayetteville M.S. defeated Hillsborough, 4-3, in overtime. Hillsborough, 9-0-1 in the regular season, had dealt Fayetteville two of its losses. And Fayetteville had spoiled Hillsborough’s perfect record with a 3-3 tie in the last game of the regular season. Both teams were 3-1-1 in the playoffs while eliminating four Raleigh teams in divisional play leading prior to their championship showdown.
Down 1-0 when Hillsborough scored 1:13 into the finale, Fayetteville tied the score on a Bryce Jurkovac goal with 1:12 remaining in the opening period. Jurkovac scored on a sharp backhander to the goalie’s glove side after his first shot was blocked.
The teams settled into a defensive battle in the second period that lasted until the 17:26 mark, when Fayetteville forward Ryan Frost fired a high slap shot between two Hillsborough skaters that defenseman Alex Stich redirected into the Hillsborough net.
Hillsborough fought back to tie early in the third period when the Fayetteville goalie, Zack Fraser, lost the puck in traffic and an alert Hillsborough forward beat him through the five-hole.
With 4:22 to go, forward Collin Duffy propelled Fayetteville to a 3-2 lead when he found the net with a wrist shot after intercepting a pass in the neutral zone and going in on a breakaway.
With 1:44 left, the Hillsborough coach pulled his goalie. Thirty-eight seconds later, a Hillsborough skater dumped the puck deep into the Fayetteville zone. A Hillsboro forward made a great centering pass and the puck bounced like a pinball through the congested crease before landing in the Fayetteville net, tying the game and setting the stage for a five-minute 4-on-4 sudden death overtime.
Midway through the extra session, Fayetteville defenseman Marty one-timed the puck hard off the boards from deep in his own, connecting with teammate Collin Duffy at center ice. Duffy zigzagged around the lone defender, sped to the net, knifed to the left just outside the crease and beat the scrambling Hillsborough goalie with a hard, glove-side wrist shot inside the right post. It was the forward’s second goal of the game and won the ’Canes Cup for Fayetteville.
Fayetteville M.S. Notes
Fayetteville goalie Zack Fraser stopped 30 of 33 shots in the ’Canes Cup final to finish the season with a .915 save percentage in 15 games.
Forward Collin Duffy led the Fayetteville offense with 10 regular season goals, while Bryce Jurkovac tallied eight times and Ryan Frost and Henry Zaremba each found the net seven times.
Duffy and Fraser will represent Fayetteville’s Cape Fear Youth Hockey Association on the elite Team Carolina next season.
The 2006 ’Canes Cup Champions were made up of 13- and 14-year-olds who also play on a travel team with the Cape Fear Youth Hockey Association’s (CFYHA) Junior FireAntz.
The CFYHA is sponsoring complimentary skating clinics this summer. The remaining clinics will be held at the Garner IceHouse (what city?) on July 15 and Aug. 12. Mites and quirts skate from 10 to 11 a.m.; the peewees, bantam and midgets from 11 to noon.