Aurora Minor Tigers host 51st annual Bantam Tournament

January 10, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The Aurora Minor Tigers hosted the 51st annual bantam tournament this past weekend.

It was a full, three-day event, hosting four divisions of bantam teams in the competition.

The Minor Tigers had a team in each of the Bantam A, AA and MD groups. Three clubs made the semi-finals and one did not make it past the group stage.

The Bantam AA side was the club that did not make it past the group stage. Falling 2-1 to the Nepean Raiders and 6-0 to the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings, it was a must win game against a good Oshawa Generals team.

Heading into the third period tied at 1-1, Generals player Andrew Thompson added a second. Tensions began to rise as Tigers defenceman Jack Hunter and Generals player Andrew Naccarato-Soule were sent to the box for scrapping in front of the Tigers net.

The Minor Tigers continued to press in this must-win affair. A point shot tipped in by Minor Tigers player Ethan Lane put the team within one.

Head Coach Paul Millar pulled the goalie in the last minute and the team was giving it everything they had, but Generals forward Riley Saltzman sealed the empty net goal.

Millar shared an optimistic view following the loss.

“One of the most positive things we have on this team is our parent group. They support us, they support each player out there. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit because win, lose, or tie, they’re always there for us, they’re always supporting each player, always supporting the coaching staff. For that I’m very thankful for the parents.”

The Bantam A side began their tournament with a win of the Georgina Blaze 4-3, before losing to the Welland Tigers 5-0. Bouncing back from their loss, the Tigers defeated the Copper Cliff Reds 3-1 and just lost their final group game to the Nickel City Sharks 4-3.

That meant the Tigers would have to play the Newmarket Redmen in the semifinals.

Redmen forward Brendan Meyer opened the scoring on a breakaway and a second goal shortly after that gave the Redmen a quick lead.

In the second period, Rowan Broad made it 3-0. In the third, the Redmen added one more.

In what seemed like a lost cause, the Bantam A side displayed their resilience and answered back with three goals in the period. Unfortunately, it was not enough. The team could not find the fourth in time.

As for the Bantam MD side, the Tigers had to play the Redmen in the semifinals as well.

The Bantam MD team began their tournament defeating the Redmen 5-3. The Tigers would beat the Markham Waxers by the same score line and take care of the Cambridge Hawks 3-2 in the third game.

In the last game of the group stage, the Tigers had to play the Burlington Bulldogs. In this 1-1 tie, controversy came into the picture. Two goals from the Bulldogs were disallowed because the net was apparently off the moorings.

In the semifinals against Newmarket, the Bantam MD side fell 2-1 in a close game.

Last but not least, the Minor Bantam A team fell into the same category as the other three clubs.

Much like the MD team, the Minor Bantam A side had a strong start to the tournament. The Minor Tigers defeated the East Gwillimbury Eagles 4-1 and tied the London Jr. Mustangs White 2-2.

In their third game, the boys tied the King Rebellion before trouncing the TNT Tornadoes 5-1.

Qualifying for the semifinals, the Minor Tigers had to take on the Rebellion once again.

Leading into the third period by a score of 2-1, the Minor Tigers lead slipped away. The Rebellion scored three unanswered goals to advance to the finals 4-2.

In such a competitive weekend and Team Canada winning the World Junior Championship shown in the front lobby of the Aurora Community Centre, this tournament was another successful event to add to the record books. Players enjoyed a weekend full of hockey right before they had to return to school on the Monday.

A special shout-out goes out to tournament director Mary Ann Cobb, President Joe Bentolila, VP Rep Sheri Hudson, VP Rep Gail Negri and all volunteers who dedicated their time to ensure everything ran smoothly.

By Robert Belardi



Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support