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Tigers end season with loss to Pickering

February 27, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Season-ender featured poignant ceremonies

The Aurora Tigers ended off their season on the road against the Burlington Cougars and were welcomed back home last Saturday for the finale against the Pickering Panthers – in front of a warm crowd and the minor Tigers.

It has been a roller coaster year for the organization, but these last two games meant a lot. Following a 6-2 loss on the road against an experienced Cougars team, the Tigers came back home Saturday night.

“The team loved it,” explained head coach Jim Wells Jr. “I know the players really enjoyed the turnout, that meant a lot to them. It’s been a long year for them. They never quit as a team and to have a good crowd come out, I know it meant a lot to them.”

Prior to the match, the club held some pre-game ceremonies.

Matt King was voted the Scotiabank Fan Favourite Award for the Tigers and Trevor Grasby received the OJHL Community Heroes Award for the player who best exemplifies himself as a role model in the community.

Shortly after, there was a moment of silence held to honour long time Town of Aurora employee Brian Kent Pidgeon, who passed away on February 20at the age of 59. He was considered to be an honourary member of the team.

Afterwards, the Tigers organization unveiled the new name of their commentary booth, officially named after Steve Mitchell; a long-time videographer for the Aurora Tigers. Mitchell had a heart transplant last year and is cautious on where he goes. His family was there to receive the honour.

The Tigers lost their final game 7-1 against another experienced team, the Pickering Panthers.

After going down 2-0 after the first period, the Tigers responded well in the second.

“Well, we came out flying in the second to get back in it, we got 21 shots,” said Wells.

“I can’t ask anything more out of the guys.”

After conceding another two goals in that period, heading into the third, Wells commended some of the players on the ice that played exceptionally well this year despite the numbers. He calls them soldiers, even silent leaders.

“There we are, down five nothing or four nothing, he’s out their penalty killing and blocking pucks. He’s a silent leader,” explained Wells when speaking about defenceman Cael Cavallin.

Wells commended Grasby as a silent leader as well and went on to praise newcomer Nicholas Primomo, who joined the team late this year.

It is in these games the Tigers do the little things right. Although the execution of finding the back of the net overshadows the game most of the time, understanding the growth of some players is essential moving forward.

Blake Frost for instance, has been working hard all year and finally managed to get some points on the board because he has never given up this year and helps lead the boys in the room.

Another player Wells spoke highly of, was Alex Ridolfi, who has made vast improvements over the course of the year.

“He was with the Tigers, went to Markham. We brought him back. He’s not a point guy, but he’s a guy who is unbelievable in the room. He’s a silent leader, works hard at his game.”

The team has had a taste of winning recently. Most notably, a 3-2 win against the Oakville Blades, handing that team their third loss of the year at home. There was a 63-point difference between these two clubs when they went head to head.

Wells said that he loves the pieces he’s got to build a team around. He also went on to add that with this taste of winning, the boys will want it all the time.

By Robert Belardi



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