Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Carroll Chargers gather around Spencer Sandberg to celebrate his goal against Leo in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Leo's Connor Bonecutter battles Carroll's Grant Palmer for puck control in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Carroll goalie Clayton Grinstead stops a Leo shot in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Spencer Sandberg picks up a rebound from his own shot to score on Leo goalie Steven Vlot, in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Spencer Holsworth brings the puck down ice against Leo's Griffin Robinson in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Leo's Nick Decker is trapped by Carroll's Alex Duffus, left, Nick Ramsey, rear, and Grant Palmer in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Leo's Cameron Manning hits the ice in front of Carroll goalie Clayton Grinstead in the first period of the city finals, Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:45 pm
Carroll wins city hockey title for 3rd straight year
Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette
When you’re in Fort Wayne with the surname Thornson, people naturally assume you’ve got some hockey ability. Such is the case for Trevor Thornson, a junior on the Carroll hockey team.
“Yeah, some people are like, ‘Oh, you need to be as good as your grandfather.’ I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” Trevor Thornson said. “But he’s really nice to me. He really motivates me a lot, tells me my pros and cons and I try to work on them.”
On Wednesday night, he certainly lived up to the family name with three goals and two assists as the Chargers walloped Leo 13-2 to take the Memorial Cup as the city’s playoff champions.
“Doing it with the boys, it feels amazing and hopefully we can get it again next year,” said Thornson, whose Chargers were a league-best 19-1-0 in regular-season play and have won the Cup three years in a row.
Thornson's grandfather, Len, is arguably the greatest minor-league hockey player of all time, widely regarded as the best to not make it to the NHL in the era of the Original Six, and he played for the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League from 1957 to 1969. His No. 11 – which is what Trevor wears – was retired by the Komets and hangs from the rafters at Memorial Coliseum.
“It’s pretty cool. He has a banner (hanging above) the Komets’ rink. Everybody asks if I know him. It’s pretty cool saying that he’s my grandfather. He gives me tips all the time. … He always talks about it to me, the good old days back then,” said Trevor Thornson, who has two cousins that also play in the area.
While a victory over Leo, which was 11-9-0 in the regular season, was expected, it was dominating performance that saw sophomore Griffen Fisher also have a hat trick, and seniors Nick Ramsey and Adam Stoody both accrue two goals and five points.
“Before the game, we told ourselves that we had to be prepared, no matter what, even though we’d beaten them every time we’d played them. We still had to come out strong,” said Ramsey, whose team had defeated Summit City 11-1 in the semifinals while Leo got a 6-0 victory over Bishop Dwenger.
Carroll had built a 5-0 lead after the first period, highlighted by a Thornson goal from 25 feet out as he was falling to the ice, and Stoody’s shot from the right circle made it 7-0 at 2:21 of the second period.
Leo scored back-to-back goals – Connor Bonecutter netted a shot on a breakaway and Cameron Manning scored off a rebound – but the Chargers answered with short-handed goals by Stoody and Ramsey from just outside the left post, and they never looked back.
“We just said that we needed to keep working because we knew that anyone can come back from any (deficit) and we just felt we needed to get a couple more goals in,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey had a league-best 59 points, including 30 goals, during the regular season.
“(When they scored twice), I think it just motivated us even more,” Thornson said. “They were getting goals and starting to run it up. Coach (Olivier Legault) was really pressuring us and we felt we had to come back even harder.”
Carroll’s goalie, Clayton Grinstead, stopped 18 shots. Leo’s Steve Vlot stopped 27, as teammate Michael Baumert wasn’t available because of a game misconduct in a previous game.
Note: Before the game, the late Bob Chase, who was the Komets' broadcaster for 64 years, was named the latest person to be honored on the Memorial Cup. He joined Colin Lister, Kevin Weber, Roy Chin, Kent Freeby, Jim Pelletier, Mike Stuckey and Mitzi Toepfer as those who have made significant contributions to high school hockey.