What many would call the biggest tournament of the year began this evening as the Silver Stick tourney kicked off in Whitby.
30 teams will compete as a countless amount of scouts take in the action as these athletes and afforded the opportunity to show what their individual games have to offer.
Alliance Scout will be in attendance for most of the weekend to check in on the Alliance squads.
Here is what went down on Thursday night.
Waterloo ties Toronto Red Wings 1-1
Although joined in progress, the Waterloo Wolves took on the #1 ranked team in the province, the Toronto Red Wings. From the get go, you could see the Red Wings were a big, strong and fairly quick team.
I arrived with the score already tied at 1 (thanks Toronto traffic). But from the minute I sat down, both teams were playing an even game.
Nathan Torchia was in net for the Wolves and his father Mike Torchia was even on the Waterloo bench for this one, a rare site.
It was obvious a key strategy for Waterloo was to avoid penalties as the Red Wings power play looked pristine. The best chances for Waterloo through the first two periods were generated by their speed with Alex Gritz and Spencer Kersten leading the charge.
The 3rd saw more pressure from Toronto with a few good chances down low while Torchia was scrambling. While Toronto had more opportunities, Waterloo had the better ones and Kersten and Gritz each missed the top corner late in the game. A crucial penalty kill by the Wolves at the end of the game gave them their first point of the tournament.
Elgin-Middlesex lose 3-0 to Whitby Wildcats
The Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs came into this tournament as one of the hottest teams in the Alliance and we’re hoping a good showing could see them end up on the next OHL Cup rankings.
First period was strong for the Chiefs as they were able to connect on some crisp passes and garner some good scoring chances. Aidan Reid rang one off the post as the game remained scoreless after the first.
The second saw a much faster and a much more organized Whitby squad as they seem to be able to complete every pass and win every battle for the puck. A couple odd man rushes led to two Wildcat goals which gave Whitby the 2-0 lead.
The final few minutes of the period belonged to Elgin as the line of Reid, Jake Murray and Wes Dobbin created numerous scoring chances, all of which were stalled by Wildcat goaltending.
The 3rd period was pretty much dominated by the Chiefs. Chances were all over the place but they just couldn’t bury them. Brayden Latimer was great on both the offensive and defensive end, especially in the final period.
One thing the coaching staff will definitely be preaching is the PP as two late ones were basically played in the Chiefs own zone.
London Jr. Knights lose 5-1 to Don Mills Flyers
The London Jr. Knights were the top ranked Alliance team heading into the tournament and had a big opening game against the Flyers of Don Mills.
While London came out of the gate strong, one breakaway goal by the Flyers midway through the first seemed to change the tide of the game.
Look to the 2nd period where the Flyers were winning every battle and getting to every loose puck which led to two quick goals on goaltender Keaghan Brett.
It was late on the penalty kill when Blake McConnell-Barker was robbed shorthanded by a stick save, which was immediately followed by a Flyers PP goal.
The 3rd saw much of the same as London wasn’t able to set up anything offensively and continued to take costly penalties.
Not the start the Knights were looking for and they will try to regroup on Friday.
In other action:
Huron-Perth Lakers lose 4-1 to Mississauga Rebels