It was an early Friday morning for Day Two of the Whitby Silver Stick tournament. The Alliance teams got into action at around 8am and there was lots to take in. By the end of the 2nd day of action, three out of the five Alliance teams were still alive for a spot in the quarter-finals. Not only that, but two teams still have a shot at winning their divisions with one being a bit of a surprise based on how the season had played out to this point.
Sun County Comes Up Big In Tournament Opener
In their first game of the tournament, Sun County came out blazing against a tough Soutern Tier team. The Panthers started out the game more shorthanded then they were expecting. With Josh DiCarlo out for the tournament, Sun County began the game without leading scorer Stephane Crevier as he appeared to have an equipment issue.
Without Crevier, the Panthers were still able to strike first thanks to Hunter Hutchins banging home the loose puck in front of the net. Crevier returned to work a Panther powerplay when the Admirals turned it around a scored a shorthanded goal on a nice breakaway, sliding it underneath and outstretch Aidan Pitre.
Prior to the flood, 02 born Zane Dalpe capitalized on another scramble in front of the Admirals net to give Sun County another lead, this time 2-1 this lead would hold until the flood.
Starting the third period off strong, Marcus Joughin, probably the Panthers strongest player in this game, put Sun County up 3-1 and they never looked back. An empty netter gave Sun County a 4-1 win and their first win of the tournament. Joughin was big in this game along with Everett Parent. Aidan Pitre, would is getting his work in this weekend, had another great game for the Panthers.
Elgin-Middlesex plays tough, falls 2-1 to Toronto Marlboros
Maybe the toughest task the Chiefs have had this season came in the form of the Toronto Marlboros. Chalked full of talent, Brant Galbraith was tasked with keeping the offense in check. There were no shortage of chances and Galbraith stood tall in this one.
The Chiefs, known in the Alliance as a very physical team, set the tone early in this one as Mark Woolley threw one of his well known big hits just seconds into the game and the physicality would continue throughout.
The Marlies led 1-0 after the first period and lots of that just had to do with the puck movement and the control their players possess with the puck. It really was something to witness. Midway through the second period, the Chiefs got a break as Jakob Marche left the penalty box and gave a nifty backhand feed to Jake Weston who would bury it to tie the game up.
The Chiefs had their chances with the Marlies getting into penalty trouble, but just couldn’t capitalize on their chances and the Marlies defense was very good at getting their sticks in the passing lanes. Elgin contained the big guns for the Marlies for most of the game, but Graeme Clarke finally broke through and gave the Marlies a 2-1 lead, which would be the final.
Jake Weston, who has had lots of action up front recently, was very good for the Chiefs along with Navrin Mutter. As stated earlier, Galbraith was a rock in goal.
London falls late to Detroit Belle Tire 4-3
London had a late start on Friday, but was hoping to build off the momentum of a big win over the Toronto Young Nationals on Thursday night. It started out strong for the Jr. Knights when Jeffrey Burridge, who is having a great tournament, used his speed burst to get around the defender and snap a shot over the goalies shoulder to put London up 1-0.
London carried on strong through the opening period, using their speed and smarts to keep Belle Tire on their heels. Things changed quickly after the first period as Belle Tire scored two goals in 61 seconds to begin the second, the latter just sneaking between the post and Lewis Boulton’s pad. It really was just a flat period for the Jr. Knights as nothing could get going and their big line was kept to the outside and easily knocked off the puck.
Belle Tire would lead 3-1 heading into the third period but penalty trouble would continue to hurt Belle Tire. Peter Fleming brought London to within one goal before the Jr. Knights would once again grab a 5-on-3 powerplay and Ryan Suzuki did not miss. A top shelf shot from basically the goal line tied things up.
While it looked like London was on the rise, a costly turnover in the defensive zone led to an absolute rocket off the stick of a Belle Tire forward, Boulton had absolutely no shot at this one and Belle Tire would take a 4-3 lead, which would be the final.
With so many games going on at once, unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch all the games for all of the Alliance teams. With that said, here are the results from some of the other Alliance games on Day Two of the Silver Stick.
- Waterloo picked up its first win of the tournament with a 4-1 victory over the Barrie Jr. Colts
- Cambridge Hawks fell 4-3 to the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. David Anderson had a great shot at tying the game in the last seconds but was stopped by the Canadiens goaltender.
- Sun County couldn’t get their possession game going and lost 3-1 to a very tough Mississauga Senators team.
- Host Whitby Wildcats were able to shut down the Cambridge Hawks 2-0. Jet Greaves with some big saves to keep it close.
- Waterloo got a late goal from Josh Martin to secure a 3-3 tie with Detroit Honeybaked and keep their hopes of advancing alive.
- The weekend didn’t get much better for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs as they were thumped 7-1 by the Mississauga Senators. Caught the end of the game where some of the hits were just getting ridiculous.
London Jr. Knights skate past Toronto Titans 4-2
The final game for my Friday in Whitby was the London Jr. Knights, played just a few hours after their first game of the day, It was a big game for London, who needed a victory to keep any shot of advancing alive.
Jr. Knights fell behind early as some nice passing by the Titans led to a wide open cage for them to grab a 1-0 lead. Owen Say had a desperation attempt, but no real chance at getting anything. Shortly after falling behind, London was dealt another blow sa a collision between Mason Howard, a Titans player and Jeffrey Burridge did not end well as Burridge went down and needed to be helped off the ice. After some time away, thankfully Burridge did return later on in the second period.
Before his return, the three top scorers in the Alliance made their presence felt in the game as Aidan Preuter fed Ryan Suzuki who gave the puck to Brett Budgell for a beauty goal. Budgell waited out the goalie long enough to have a practically wide open cage for the goal. Just minutes later, a scramble in front of the net had Liam Vanloon slide the puck into the back of the net for a 2-1 London lead.
Seconds after London took the lead, a scramble in front of the London net had Toronto tie the game and the goals were flying in left, right and centre. Later in the game, a London powerplay would give the Jr. Knights the lead for good. Budgell, who mans the point but also circles in the neutral zone in a new formation, shot the puck just wide of the net giving Preuter the nice tip in goal. A Luke Drewitt goal late in the third period sealed things for London, who now have two wins and a shot at the division win on Saturday afternoon.
With the final day upon us, London, Waterloo and Sun County all have the chance to advance to the quater-finals. All three of these teams will need their best performances in order to defeat some tough teams on the schedule.