It was a long trek to get to the Central Park Athletic Centre in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor is playing host to the 2017 Alliance Minor Midget Showcase event after two years of the event taking place in St. Mary’s under the Huron-Perth Lakers banner.
The September showcase is a little bit different than years past. Due to the Alliance running a second showcase weekend in December around their All-Star weekend, all teams will play just three games this weekend as opposed to the four they had previously played.
Here is a brief recap of some of the action that I was able to catch.
Sun County’s Offensive Prowess Powers Past Brantford
In my first viewing of this season’s Sun County Panthers squad, it did not take long to see why the offense has been so successful in the early part of the season. The Panthers used their speed and puck movement to get out in front early and despite a strong third period from the 99ers, held on for the win.
Matthew Maggio, John Ulicny, Ryan Gagnier and Zane Dalpe were all stellar in the contest. Ulicny’s shot and Maggio’s speed were on display in full force as Sun County improved to 3-0. For Brantford, their best players in the game were probably their youngest in Cole Hipkin and Maddox Callens. Hipkin showed he belongs as one of the top defenders in the Alliance while Callens had some of the best chances for the 99ers all day.
Cambridge Hawks edge out host Windsor
For the second consecutive game, the Cambridge Hawks needed a strong third period in order to secure victory, this time a 2-1 win over the Windsor Jr. Spitfires.
An Isaac Borges goal with just over four minutes remaining was the difference and Borges was one of the Hawks best players on the ice Friday afternoon. In addition to Borges, Peyton Adams-Matthews had his best game in a Hawks uniform. Becoming a consistent performer for Windsor is Bryce Ryan, who nearly gave Windsor the lead early in the third period with a beautiful backhand that just rang off the far post. Matthew Sbrocca once again started for Windsor and was great again. Sbrocca has now started all three of Windsor’s games to begin the season.
Lambton Jr. Sting Hammer Their Way Past Jr. Rangers
A strong forecheck and disciplined play led the Lambton Jr. Sting to their first win of the season, 5-1 over the Kitchener Jr. Rangers.
Lambton got out to an early lead and continued to add throughout the game. Matt Cunningham, Ben Diamond and Blake Butler were all strong up front for the Jr. Sting. Butler was a facilitator for the fowards while Cunningham and Diamond scored for Lambton while also securing many chances. Adam Mino made some good saves in goal to secure the victory. On the Kitchener side, Eric Kinnear played very well on a Kitchener defense that had just five guys. Adam Grein played one hell of a physical game that resulted in a couple quality chance as well.
Huron-Perth holds on for tie with Elgin-Middlesex
A big third period for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs just wasn’t quite enough as the Huron-Perth Lakers were able to hold on for the 3-3 tie.
The Chiefs had a great game from Billy Faragher who seems to have a knack for finding the back of the net early on this this season. It was also the best game of the year for Rylan Bowers thus far, as he created solid chances out of seemingly thin air. Blake Wideman had himself quite the game for Huron-Perth. Wideman scored twice, both while shorthanded, with his second coming on a superb display of breakaway speed to beat the defense and slide it into the net. Carter Roth was a big reason this game ended up in a tie. Some big saves in the dying minutes secured the point for the Lakers.
London Jr. Knights defeat Waterloo Wolves in first game of season
Some teams had already completed four games by the time the London Jr. Knights took to the ice for their first regular season contest of the season. It was a hard fought game against Waterloo and London was able to pull out a slim 1-0 victory.
London came out blazing in the first period against a flat Waterloo team. As the game got into the second and third periods, the Wolves gained steamed by London was able to hold on. Joey Studnicka and George Diaco had good games up front while Alex Bikos and Sheldon Serraglio controlled the game on the back end. Jackson Mailloux was huge in goal and came up big on a few occasions to secure the shutout. The Wolves got another big game from Matt Onuska who kept it a one goal game. Tyler Alexander was all over the ice and is quickly becoming a huge part of this Wolves team. Specifically in the third period, the line of Chase Broda, Carson Wickie and Zac McCann came very close to tying the game multiple times.
The Hamilton Huskies and Chatham-Kent Cyclones skated to a 4-4 tie although the game was not viewing by AllianceHockeyScout.com.