(Translation: Victory for the Chargers in Dunkirk!!!)
The Under 13 Invicta Chargers travelled to France on the weekend of 12/13 May to participate in the 2018 Under 13 Dunkerque Corsaires Tournament, following in the footsteps of previous Invicta teams and building on the excellent relationship between the Invicta and Dunkerque Clubs.
The Under 13 tournament featured teams from Switzerland, Holland and from across France. Having arrived in Dunkirk on Friday, the Chargers enjoyed themselves in the sun at the beach, before getting an early night.
The tournament got underway early in Saturday morning, and saw the Chargers placed in a tough Pool A, alongside junior teams from Switzerland and France.
Invicta played their opening game against the Saint Imier Bats from Switzerland. The Chargers got off to a flying start with some slick passing and great team play, which would prove to be a consistent feature throughout the weekend, and came away with a hard fought 4-2 victory.
The players carried their confident mood into the next game against the tournament host the Dunkerque Corsaires and recorded a 5-0 resounding victory much to the dismay of the partisan home crowd. Despite winning both opening games the Chargers needed to win their final group game in order to top Pool A, and ensure a route to the semi final match later in the evening.
In the final group game the Chargers faced off against one of the pre-tournament favourites the Wasquehal Lions and after a blistering start the Chargers settled down to control the game and tame the Lions with 4-2 victory!
The result meant the Chargers topped Pool A with 3 wins from 3 and would face Parisian team Dammary Les Lys in the semi final later at 7:40 in the evening.
After a much needed rest, a refreshed Chargers team hit the ice with a ferocious appetite, challenging hard for every loose puck. Dammary found the Chargers slick passing and fast breakouts difficult to live with and in the end were no match for a rampant Invicta team who came away with a very impressive 6-0 victory... and more importantly a place in Sundays tournament final!
All participating teams headed to the rink on Sunday morning for the tournament placing games. After the 7th/8th game, the 5th/6th game and the 3rd/4th game had all taken place, all eyes were on the final, which saw the Invicta Chargers again face their old adversaries and tournament hosts, the Dunkerque Corsaires, in front of a large partisan home crowd.
Invicta started the game strong and got off to a perfect start as the Chargers raced into a 3-0 1st period lead to silence the home crowd. After the first intermission the Corsaires fought back in a competitive, but scoreless, 2nd period. In the final period, it was the Dunkerque who started the more menacingly and 'Les Corsaires' were rewarded with a goal to get themselves back in the game at 3-1. After a few tense minutes with the Corsaires pushing hard, the Chargers stepped up a gear and scored two quick goals to put the game out of sight for the hosts and secure a 5-1 Invicta win.
The final buzzer was met with jubilant scenes both on and off the ice and a loud roaring cheer from the travelling fans could be heard throughout the rink when the Chargers proudly lifted the U13 Dunkerque Corsaires winning trophy!
The tournament was a fantastic weekend all round for the players, coaches and fans... Bring on the 2019 tournament!!!
Allez Les Chargers, Merci Dunkerque!!!
Gallery of some action from the weekend below: