Coming up tomorrow afternoon is arguably my favourite weekend of the hockey schedule, the Alliance Minor Midget Showcase tournament. It’s always great to have all of the teams from the league in one building and able to showcase their talents for people around the province to see. Teams people may see once or twice a year are exposed to a wider audience.
The event, which is once again hosted by the Huron-Perth Lakers in St. Mary’s, Ontario, is full of great team matchups and interesting angles from an observers perspective. I will personally be in attendance for all of the Showcase, which also gives me the hard task of deciding which games to view as many run concurrently with others.
For those not fully aware of the schedule, here is what the weekend looks like.
Friday, September 23
1:45pm – Elgin-MIddlesex vs Cambridge
2:00pm – London vs Huron-Perth
3:45pm – Hamilton vs Lambton
4:00pm – Chatham-Kent vs Brantford
5:45pm – Sun County vs Kitchener
7:45pm – Waterloo vs Windsor
Saturday, September 24
8:00am – Huron-Perth vs Chatham-Kent
8:15am – London vs Brantford
10:00am – Elgin-Middlesex vs Kitchener
10:15am – Waterloo vs Lambton
12:00pm – Sun County vs Cambridge
12:15pm – Windsor vs Hamilton
4:00pm – Elgin-Middlesex vs Brantford
4:15pm – Waterloo vs Chatham-Kent
6:00pm – Lambton vs Cambridge
6:15pm – Huron-Perth vs Sun County
8:00pm – Kitchener vs Windsor
8:15pm – London vs Hamilton
Sunday, September 25
8:00am – Sun County vs Brantford
8:15am – Elgin-Middlesex vs Huron-Perth
10:00am – Kitchener vs Lambton
10:15am – Windsor vs Cambridge
12:00pm – Hamilton vs Chatham-Kent
12:15pm – London vs Waterloo
Lots of really great matchups on paper throughout the schedule. While the showcase isn’t the bench mark for how teams will do this season, it does give teams the chance to excel and build some momentum while also risking a tough weekend lingering on for some time.
With that said, I do have five story lines, players and teams that I am most looking forward to checking out. This isn’t all I’m excited for, but more what intrigues me heading into the weekend.
- Andrew MacLean – By all accounts, MacLean was stellar in net for the Jr. Sting when they fell to Waterloo over the weekend. He also played strong in goal for Lambton during their play at the Titans tournament. It will be interesting to see if MacLean can vault himself into the conversation for top goalie in the Alliance alongside AIdan Petrie and Cy Martin.
- Sun County Panthers – I have had the opportunity to see lots of Panthers action early in the season. The team played very well at the Titans tournament, but lost both their season opening games, albeit against tough competition in Cambridge and Waterloo. The Panthers have a decent schedule this weekend and it would be a big boost to the club to come out on a good streak.
- Tyler Tulio – Tulio, along with Zane Dalpe, are the lone players in the Alliance born in 2002. Tulio was very impressive in viewings at Bantam but the size of players at Minor Midget is a big difference. Very curious if he will be able to dictate play as well as he did a year ago.
- London vs Waterloo – A rematch of both the Bantam and Minor Midget championship from a year ago, the Jr. Knights and Wolves always have nail biting games. London had the advantage at bantam last season, but a new look Waterloo squad are hopeful the new additions will put them over the top.
- Jacob Bloomfield – Finally, a player whose bantam play always left me waiting for more, Bloomfield has continued to be a force in the 99ers lineup. One of the top scorers in the Alliance at the Titans tournament, Bloomfield is a player all those in attendance will need to keep their eyes on.
Those are a few of the reason why I’m excited for this coming weekend. With that said, let’s hear from you.