Congratulations to the Minor Bantam Rostered Select team for an impressive tournament win in Hamilton over the weekend. The team sealed the championship win with an impressive 1-0 victory on Sunday morning against a very tough team from Halton Hills. This marks the first tournament victory in the Rostered Select program.
The boys were thrilled to miss a day of school, but the parents were not so thrilled to drive with white knuckles to Hamilton early on Friday morning on icy roads with lots of traffic, including a few conga lines of snow plows. Some players literally jumped on the ice the minute before the drop of the puck for the first game against the Cambridge Hornets.
The Hornets proved to be a tough opponent as they forced a great deal of play early in the first period in the Stouffville zone. The Clippers played a stellar defensive game and were able to break out for the game’s first goal by David Russell after feeds from forwards Zavier Raza and Jordan Adshade. The defense did not let up and player of the game, goalie Evan Redshaw stopped every shot he faced for a 1-0 victory and a great start to the tournament.
Game 2 was scheduled to start 8 hours later against the host Rosedale Devils. The team learned a valuable lesson about the effects of rest and nutrition on player performance. Burgers, fries, bricks of poutine, and jumbo bags of popcorn mixed with the early start to the day resulted in a sluggish start against an opponent hungry for a win.
Rosedale jumped to a quick two goal lead and looked to dominate the game until Liam Comeau popped in a juicy rebound off a great shot from Michael Siljanoski and a feed from Nick Romeo. The boys then tied it up at the end of the first on a goal from Jackson Brandon and tag-team partner Justin Bohemier. Rosedale continued its strong play with a goal in the third, but eventual player of the game Siljanoski (and maybe not coincidentally the only player not to partake in the big lunch that afternoon) netted his first goal of the season to tie up the game. Despite the slow start, Adshade secured the second victory of the day scoring the game winner with only 1:25 left in the game.
After travelling back home to Stouffville to play house league games on Saturday afternoon the team returned to Hamilton (luckily with good weather this time) for an evening match up with the impressive Halton Hills Thunder. In round robin play, Halton Hills outscored its opponents 16-3. However, by the time the game started, Stouffville was aware they had already won a position in the final on Sunday morning. In the Saturday match, even though the Stouffville boys seemed to emerge from their food comas from the day before, Halton Hills size and speed proved superior to Stouffville’s defensive game resulting in a 4-1 loss. The team’s lone goal came from an impressive display of skating and shooting by Liam Comeau after a nice Kirk Vogan chip off the boards and feed from Liam Beauchamp.
Luckily, much was learned from that loss about the Halton Hills style of play as the two teams were paired up again for the championship match on Sunday morning. The opposition once again came out strong peppering goalie Matt Asslein with shot after shot in the first period but were unsuccessful in putting one in the net. Stouffville soon settled into their familiar defensive play (thanks to the efforts of Josh Henriques, Max Samu, Juhan Leis, and support from forwards Tyler Devereux and Devyn Cameron among others) keeping the Halton players from the center of the ice, frustrating their rivals to no end.
The game remained scoreless until midway in the third period when Bohemier tipped in a crisp shot from the point from defensemen Simon Briones. Despite increased pressure and the extra man attempt to even up the score, the team was able to hold Halton Hills at bay as Asselin earned the team’s second shutout of the tournament and the player of the game as the team celebrated the championship victory.
On behalf of the team, the Minor Bantam RS coaches would like to thank the league for the support of the program, Rosedale for putting on a great tournament, all the support from the enthusiastic crowd, and especially the parents who took off time from work and provided all the transportation, supervision and support to our players.