All 12 teams in the Minor Midget Alliance division gathered in St. Mary’s today for the beginning of the Alliance Faceoff Showcase. Scouts from all across Ontario were in attendance on Day 1 and the numbers are sure to increase as the weekend continues.
All the teams I viewed were playing with a sense of urgency as they tried to either continue on their hot streak or turn their season around.
Huron-Perth Lakers 5 – Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs 3
The Lakers improved to 5-0 on the young season with another victory, this time over a very game Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs. The Lakers used strong back checking from their forwards and capitalized on their opportunities to pull out the win in a game where the Chiefs really controlled play.
Tyler Parr was in net for Huron-Perth and came up with some big saves throughout the game, mainly while Huron was on the penalty kill. Brady Hinz was on another level in this game, using his speed and puck handling to create several chances including one goal for himself. On the Lakers second line, Owen Gilhula was the catalyst to keep the Lakers offense rolling.
The Chiefs were not able to get many scoring chances late in the game as Huron-Perth shut down defensively. Aidan Burns shined bright for Elgin. He led the defense as they kept Kaleb Pearson at bay and tried their best to contain Hinz. Jake Murray was once again the big offensive threat for the Chiefs, scoring a late beautiful 2nd period goal.
Hamilton Huskies 4 – Lambton Jr. Sting 2
Probably the two biggest teams in the Alliance this season played the most physical game on Friday and the Huskies were the ones who came out on top for yet another regular season win.
The Huskies were led by Zach Jankovic on defense. Not only did he lead by example on the ice but it was quite audible that he was the vocal leader as well. There could only by one official player of the game, but in my book there were two. Derek Seguin and Matthew Giannini had incredible chemistry and seemed to always know where each other were on the ice.
Lambton played a very strong first two periods, but seemed to fade a bit in the third. A few short bursts led to some scoring chances but no sustained pressure. Joel Pavey led the way on offense as the Huskies were unable to keep him in front of them. Duncan Core was the strongest member of the Jr. Sting defense today and he tried to ignite some offense in the third with a few rushes.
Kitchener Jr. Rangers 3 – Windsor Jr. Spitfires 3
The fastest game played on Friday was between Kitchener and Windsor as a couple late third period goals by both teams resulted in the tie game.
Kitchener was able to keep a strong, fast pace with Windsor which resulted in several chances each way. The Eric Uba who played Bantam with Kitchener last season has seemed to come back as he scored two of the three Jr. Ranger goals. He and line mate Ben Demoe seemed to click well on their line, both very strong on the puck. Justin McCombs scored a beauty in the third period to tie the game at 3. McCombs had been beaten up bad by Windsor throughout the game, but still kept coming. On defense, was impressed by the strong play of Nathan George, although a couple penalties proved costly for the team.
On the Windsor side, Owen Lalonde came as advertised. He was sharp in his own end, made strong outlet passes to the forwards and was a powerplay weapon that Kitchener had to keep a man on at all times. The Kitchener defense couldn’t keep him at bay for the whole game as Lalonde cheated in and ripped one past Rhetton Kimmel to put Windsor up 3-2 at the time. Kory Silverio was kept in check for the most part, but captain Gianluca Pizzuto played strong and was the best forward on the ice for Windsor.
Brantford 99ers 4 – Sun County Panthers 3
The late game on Friday night saw the Brantford 99ers score a third period goal with just 90 seconds remaining to steal a point from Sun County.
It wasn’t the strongest game for Brantford, but they did a great job of making sure they got shots on net. They weren’t overly concerned with working down low or trying to dangle their way through the defense. They relied on big shots and collecting rebounds given up by Catalin Morin. Cam Allen and Quinn Isowa stood out for the 99ers. Both played the wing well and made quick cuts to throw the defense off. Holden Wale was also impressive on defense, very strong in his own end and confident in his rushes up the ice.
For Sun County, many of their top forwards had off nights. Jake Nimmo did score a rebound goal, but wasn’t able to separate from the defense as he has in previous games. Parker Jacques continued to impress me with his skills on both ends of the ice. Dylan Weston put another away for the Panthers as he continues to solidify himself as a scoring threat on this team.
In other action:
London Jr. Knights 2 – Waterloo Wolves 2
Chatham-Kent Cyclones 4 – Cambridge Hawks 3
Day 2 of the Alliance Faceoff begins at 8am on Saturday morning with full coverage on Alliance Scout.