Valley Aces score Bantam AA Silver Stick championship
The Upper Ottawa Valley Aces were this year's Bantam AA Silver Stick champions, after defeating the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings 4-0 in the final game. The team, along with the Atom C Valley Storm, and playing in the North American finals this weekend.
One Valley hockey team aced this year’s Frank Nighbor Memorial Bantam Weekend for the 33rd Silver Stick Tournament.
The tournament, which took place from Nov. 24 to 26 at the Pembroke Memorial Centre (PMC) and the Pembroke and Area Community Centre (PACC) saw 30 Bantam AA, B and C teams from across Eastern Ontario, West Quebec and beyond battle on ice for the championship title for their respective division.
Both the Pembroke Memorial Centre and the Pembroke and Area Community Centre were heavy with hockey fever as families and friends alike took to the bleachers to cheer on their Bantam AA, B and C hockey teams over the course of the weekend.
The tournament saw action from 30 teams coming from across Eastern Ontario, including six from the ‘AA’ division, 14 from the ‘B’ division and seven from the ‘C’ division. Among those teams, local talent was showcased by the Petawawa Patriots, the Pembroke Kings, the Muskrat Voyageurs, the Valley Storm and the Valley Aces.
While the majority of local teams were defeated early on, they all put up a strong fight and showed excellent sportsmanship.
But local talent remained in the running as the Upper Ottawa Valley Aces earned their spot in the playoffs and ended up acing the final championship game (4-0) against the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings, to be crowned the 2017 Silver Stick Bantam AA Championship title.
Saturday’s round robin action kicked off with the B division, as the Petawawa Patriots were defeated 3-2 by the South Grenville Rangers. Patriots’ Connor Bateman sunk the first goal (unassisted) while was swiftly met by a goal from the Rangers. Tied 1-1, star player Bateman bumped his team up to a lead in the second period (assisted by Harrison Gerl). Into the final period, the Rangers took back control and fired home two goals to solidify their 3-2 win. For their second game of the day, the Patriots took another hit as they were defeated by the Ennismore Eagles. The Eagles sunk the first goal of the game which Patriots’ Scott Young swiftly responded to by sinking an unassisted goal, but after another victorious shot by the Eagles in the second period, the Patriots were ultimately defeated 2-1.
Silver Stick’s hometown team, the Pembroke Kings, put up an impressive fight against the Renfrew Timberwolves to ultimately be rewarded for their efforts with a 6-1 victory. While the Timberwolves were first on the scoreboard in the opening period, Kings’ Quinn McCann swiftly fired back a shot (assisted by Abram Gleason and Connor Rielly) which was followed up by another shot from Kings’ Logan Johnson (assisted by Abram Gleason and Connor Rielly). With the Kings leading 2-1 into the second period, they maintained their powerful momentum as they relentlessly fired shot after shot on the Timberwolves net to see McCann score another goal (assisted by Gleason and James McMillan) before McMillan sunk two of his own shots (assisted by Gleason and McCann) and Gleason fired home the final shot (assisted by Braydon Dougherty and Garrett Schulz) to solidify his team’s 6-1 win. Despite the impressive victory early in the day, the Kings second game saw them edged 3-2 by the Brockville Jr. Braves. The Braves took control of the first period as they earned a 2-0 lead while the Kings failed to respond. It wasn’t until the second period that Kings’ James McMillan netted his team’s first goal (assisted by Abram Gleason and Quinn McCann) which was swiftly met by another goal from the Braves. With the Braves leading 3-1, the final period saw McCann sink his team’s second goal (assisted by Josh Eason and Gleason) but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Braves.
In other Bantam B action, the Kemptville Panthers crushed the Campbellford Colts 4-1, the Brockville Jr. Braves annihilated the Alexandria Glens 8-3, the Kemptville Panthers defeated the Loyalist Jets 3-1, the Ottawa West Golden Knights edged the Campbellford Colts 3-2, the Arnprior Packers shut out the South Dundas Lions 7-0 and the Mississippi Thunder Kings doubled the Ennismore Eagles 4-2.
Saturday’s Bantam AA action began with the Upper Ottawa Valley Aces facing off against the Ottawa Valley Silver Seven. The Aces were first on the scoreboard thank to Quinn Campbell (assisted by Jake Pianosi). A few more minutes into the first period, the Seven tied the score up 1-1 but their efforts were swiftly crushed by the Aces who fired back three more goals by Samuel Klawitter (assisted by Will Mierau) and Jake Pianosi to take over with a 4-1 lead. Into the second period, the Seven met the Aces halfway, but Aces William Pigeon responded with an unassisted goal to solidify his team’s 5-2 victory – as no action was seen in the third period. In their second game of the night, the Aces faced off against the Nepean Raiders who crushed them with a hard 5-1 blow. The Raiders were first on the scoreboard, followed by the Aces, for a 1-1 tie by end of the first period. Into the second, the Raiders crushed the Aces with three goals to bring them up to a 4-1 lead. By the final period, the Raiders scored once more, to secure their 5-1 win.
In other AA action, the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings defeated the Ottawa Valley Silver Seven 3-1; the Ottawa Sting doubled the Peterborough Petes 4-2; the Sting crushed the Nepean Raiders 3-0; and St. Lawrence Kings matched the Petes 1-1.
For Saturday’s Bantam C action, the Muskrat Voyageurs were shut out 4-0 by the Sturgeon Lake Thunder, and the Voyageurs fell 3-2 against the Douro Dukes in their second game of the night. The Dukes and Voyageurs were equally matched 1-1 after the first period, the Voyageurs fired a goal to take a 2-1 lead in the second, but the final period saw the Dukes cruise to victory with two solid goals for a 3-2 finish.
Another local Bantam C team, the Valley Storm, found themselves tied 2-2 with the Tweed Hawks, after three overtime periods failed to resolve the issue. The Hawks powered through the first two periods with two goals before the Storm overpowered their opponent in the final period to secure the 2-2 tie. Despite the safe conclusion to their first game of the day, the Storm were crushed with a 6-0 blow by Centre Hastings Grizzlies later that same day.
In other Bantam C action, the Mariposa Lightning defeated the Tweed Hawks 3-1 and the Centre Hastings Grizzlies beat the Douro Dukes 5-3.
Heading into Sunday, a few Bantam C teams faced off int he final three games of the round robin. Valley Storm and the Douro Dukes kicked off the day with a high action game that ended in a 7-7 tie, after three overtime periods failed to resolve the issue. The Dukes opening the scoring in the first period but their goal was swiftly met by four goals from the Storm (Grant Summers, Liam Comerford, Joshua Good, Jack Peplinskie; assisted by Cody Trotter, Good, Cal Gienow, Summers, and Jordan Summers). The second period saw the Dukes take back control by firing home three solid goals, while the Storm’s Joshua Good sunk one goal in his opponent’s net. By the final period, shots continued to be fired back and forth with Storm’s Jack Prince (assisted by Thomas Verch) and Jack Peplinksie (assisted by Liam Cumberford) netting two goals and the Dukes securing three to finalize the 7-7 tie by game’s end. The final two Bantam C round robin games saw the Tweed Hawks defeat Sturgeon Lake 3-1 and the Centre Hastings Grizzlies edge the Mariposa Lightning 3-2.
Sunday’s final championship rounds saw the Upper Ottawa Valley Aces edge the Ottawa Sting 3-2 in the semi-final game for Bantam AA. Aces’ Matteo Nixon and Sean Doughty netted the first two goals (unassisted) and despite two goals from the Sting, the Aces came out on top with one final goal from Nathaniel Leduc (assisted by William Pigeon. Moving onto the final champtionship round in the AA division, the Aces faced off against Rideau St. Lawrence Kings. While the Kings put up a strong fight, the Aces displayed greater prowess as they reigned over the ice and fired home four goals – three from star player Quinn Campbell and one from Sam Pianosi with assists from William Pigeon, Keilan Leclaire, Danick Laroche and Samuel Klawitter – to shut out their opponents 4-0 and be crowned the 2017 Bantam AA Silver Stick champions.
In other Bantam Silver Stick championship news, the Douro Dukes were victorious in the C division after crushing the Centre Hastings Grizzlies 10-5 and the Ottawa West Golden Knights were the B champions after defeating the Brockville Jr. Braves 4-0.