Day 2 at the Alliance Faceoff with 12 games in total over a 13 hour stretch. There were several close back and forth games to go along with a couple of lopsided games. Many players continued to stand out on their respective teams while other continued to try and make a name for themselves for the many scouts in attendance.
London Jr. Knights 8 – Cambridge Hawks 0
This was a tough one for the Cambridge Hawks as they continue to struggle. For London, they had this game under complete control from start to finish with few moments of worry.
All of the Jr. Knight players seemed to have their feet moving at all times, beating Cambridge to every lose puck throughout the game. It was both Brett and Kyle Fisher who were the stand outs for this game. The chemistry the two have is obvious and Kyle specifically was making some very crisp passes. Eric Guest continued to show obvious skill, but a six minute penalty midway through the 3rd period ended his day early.
For Cambridge, they just could not get any rhythm on offense to try and get any pressure. Despite London being the much faster team, Cambridge continued to try and dump the puck and beat London on the jump. I was again impressed with Cooper Page on defense. Despite his small stature, he players a big game especially in front of the net.
Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs 3 – Brantford 99ers 1
Elgin-Middlesex is playing some strong hockey this weekend, even if the scores don’t reflect that. They outplayed Brantford every period and also outplayed Huron-Perth yesterday for the majority of the game despite the loss.
The Chiefs were trailing after the first period even though they control the puck and maintained plenty of pressure on Brantford. Dan Murphy was stopping everything that came at him early. Ryan Rosborough had a good game up front, taking the middle on the rush and getting off plenty of shots. Liam Israels also made an impact on defense and was one of the main reasons Lucas Bain didn’t have much to stop through this one.
Brantford did play a good game despite the loss. For the second day in a row I thought Holden Wale really separated himself as the top skater for the 99ers. His rushes from behind his own net are a thing to behold. Former Hamilton Huskies forward Sam Spanier also played well, trying his best to create chances against the stout Chiefs defense.
Hamilton Huskies 4 – Windsor Jr. Spitfires 3
The best game I took in during the early block saw both teams go down to the wire with Windsor pulling to within one goal in the final minute, but the Huskies were able to hold on.
One of the best things to watch in this game was the constant battles between Hamilton forward Derek Seguin and Windsor defenseman Owen Lalonde. The two were seemingly always matched against each other and I would say Seguin came out slightly ahead which helped Hamilton to the victory. Also helping the Huskies to victory was strong play from Andrew Barwinski in net and Isaac Taylor continued to emerge as an offensive threat.
Windsor had many chances, including several in a crazy second period, but it just wasn’t meant to be this day. The line combination of Kory Silverio and Evan Ferguson is working wonders thus far. The speed and agility of Silverio mixed with the power and shot of Ferguson has made this line the offensive weapon Windsor likes.
London Jr. Knights 5 – Brantford 99ers 1
The score doesn’t reflect it, but this was a much closer game than 5-1. Actually, the game was tied heading into the third period until London was able to open up some space and slowly pull away.
As I stated earlier, both Kyle and Brett Fisher continued their strong play and line mate Blake McConnell-Barker really stood out with strong plays in the offensive zone. Eric Guest really came alive in this one and showed why so many are high on him. His decision making is precise, but he doesn’t telegraph it and waits until the last possible second to make his moves to keep the defense on their toes.
99er forwards Jack Gee and Griffen Fox played their best games of the weekend thus far. Both did as much as they could to get through the tough defense of London and succeeded much more than anyone else on the Brantford squad today.
Huron-Perth Lakers 3 – Lambton Jr. Sting 1
Make it seven in a row to start the season for the Lakers as they took a physical and emotional game from the Jr. Sting on Saturday night.
It’s becoming very apparent why the Lakers have been so successful to begin this new season. Firstly, Tyler Parr is quickly rising the ranks of Alliance goaltenders with his play this weekend. Secondly, the Lakers seem to collapse all five men when they get a lead, making it nearly impossible for the opposition to set up shop in their offensive zone. Malcolm McLeod acted as the leader on defense and was integral to setting up the powerplay. Brady Hinz and Owen Gilhula also continued the trend of being the standout offensive players for Huron-Perth.
The Jr. Sting could have had this game, but it was their defensive miscues that led to the loss. The first Laker goal was on a soft pass right in front of the crease that was picked off and buried for a 1-0 Huron lead. Joey Ferrera made himself noticeable with his speed and constant pursuit of the puck. Big defenseman Duncan Core and Jordan Hurtubise used their length to keep top scorer Kaleb Pearson at bay.
Waterloo Wolves 1 – Windsor Jr. Spitfires 1
In the finale for Saturday night, Waterloo and Windsor played a back and forth game that was almost one in the dying seconds, but instead ended in a draw.
Waterloo has a lot of positives going for their team. Nathan Torchia was outstanding in net for the Wolves. It became clear early on that anything going to his glove side was not going to result in a goal. He is also helped out by having both Tyler McBay and Tristan De Jong on defense in front of him. While everyone talks about Owen Lalonde, McBay is a big defenseman who plays the body hard and has a wicked shot.
For Windsor, it was once again Evan Ferguson who got them on the board and he and Kory Silverio continued to be offensive threats whenever they are on the ice. Lalonde played another solid game. Nothing flashy from the Windsor D, but his poise is always on point and that is something that will become clearer as the season progresses.
In other action:
Waterloo Wolves 6 – Chatham-Kent Cyclones 1
Lambton Jr. Sting 4 – Kitchener Jr. Rangers 0
Huron-Perth Lakers 3 – Sun County Panthers 2
Kitchener Jr. Rangers 4 – Chatham-Kent Cyclones 2
Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs 3 – Cambridge Hawks 0
Hamilton Huskies 6 – Sun County Panthers 4