Bantams, Atoms reach semi-finals at
Int. A-E Silver Stick
Over 230 games played in Niagara area on the weekend
By Pat Payton
NIAGARA - Two St. Marys minor hockey teams reached the Tier 2 semi-finals before being eliminated at the 20th annual International A-E and Local League Silver Stick tournament here this past weekend.
Both the Frayne Custom Cabinets A-E Bantams and Dunny’s Source for Sports A-E Atoms lost by a goal to American opponents in their semi-final games Saturday. The Frayne Bantams dropped a 1-0 decision to Columbus Capitals from Fort Wayne, Indiana, while the Dunny’s Atoms were nipped 2-1 by Hyland Hills Jaguars from Westminster, Colorado.
The SMMHA was also represented by the Home Building Centre A-E Peewees.
The huge Int. Silver Stick event, hosted by Pelham minor hockey, was held at several rinks in the Niagara area. Over four days (Jan. 10-13), there were over 230 games played in the various age divisions.
The following are game summaries for the three St. Marys Rock teams which competed at the International Silver Stick tournament.
Frayne Bantams summaries
In their opening game Thursday morning, the Frayne Cabinets Bantams battled Ayr Flames to a 1-1 stalemate. Zach Rooney scored for St. Marys, and goalie Jack Aarts played well.
“We played Ayr in the St. Marys tournament, and they didn’t change their game plan at all,” coach Dale Switzer said.
It was another low-scoring defensive battle in their second game Thursday afternoon and the Frayne squad tied Centre-Wellington Fusion from Fergus-Elora 1-1. Owen Boyd scored for the Rock, and Kiefer MacNeil played well in net.
“We didn’t give up a lot of dangerous chances,” coach Switzer reported. “Our guys did a good job of keeping Centre-Wellington to the outside, but their forecheck pressure in our end was strong.”
The Bantams picked up their third straight tie in their final round-robin game Friday morning. One line scored three of the four St. Marys goals in a 4-4 draw with Columbus Capitals from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Rock trailed 4-2 at one point and had to battle back to earn the tie.
Sharing the St. Marys scoring were Jake Pfaff, Jake Grant, Chase Carter and Gavin Muir, who tied it with two minutes remaining.
A win would have put the Frayne squad in the Tier 1 playoff round. They advanced to play South Huron Sabres in the Tier 2 quarter-finals Friday afternoon. A first-period goal by Zach Rooney stood up as the winner in a 1-0 Rock victory over the Sabres. The shutout went to Kiefer MacNeil.
It earned the Bantam Rock a rematch with Columbus Capitals in the semi-finals Saturday afternoon. The only goal of the game came when Capitals scored in the first period from a scramble.
“Both teams really clamped down and took away a lot of scoring chances,” coach Switzer said. “Columbus is a pretty good skating team, but we couldn’t get any flow going.
“We only lost one game, but the problem was it was an elimination game.”
Dunny’s Atoms summaries
In their opening game Thursday morning, Dunny’s Sports Atoms skated to a 6-0 victory over Strongsville Mustangs from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Reid Taylor and Donovan McGregor each scored twice for the Rock, while the singles came off the sticks of Grier Mahoney and Ben Ewing. Isaac Cousineau recorded the shutout.
In their second game Thursday afternoon, Matt King’s squad dropped a close 3-2 decision to Littleton Hawks from Westminster, Colorado. The Hawks held a wide territorial advantage in the game.
Reid Taylor fired one of the Rock goals and assisted on the other by Harper Murrell. Netminder Cousineau had a strong game as the Dunny’s crew was constantly under siege and played well defensively.
In their third round-robin game Friday morning, the Dunny’s Atoms lost 4-1 to California Wave, a good-skating team from San Jose, California. Riley Hartwick scored for the Rock.
The Atoms advanced to the Tier 2 quarter-finals Friday afternoon, meeting Delco Phantoms from Aston, Pennsylvania. Grier Mahoney collected four goals and Nicholas Brintnell two more in a one-sided 10-0 St. Marys win. Cousineau had an easy time notching the shutout.
The Dunny’s Atoms’ tournament came to an end Saturday morning when they were edged 2-1 in the semi-finals by Hyland Hills Jaguars from Colorado. It was St. Marys’ fifth straight game against an American opponent. Mahoney scored the lone Rock goal.
Reid Taylor, of the Dunny's Sports Atoms, fires a shot at the opposition net during a recent game at the PRC. The Atoms and Frayne Bantams reached the semi-finals at the 2019 International A-E Silver Stick tournament in the Niagara area last weekend. (Payton photo)
HBC Peewees summaries
In their opening game Thursday morning, Home Building Centre Peewees lost 3-0 to Merritton Bulldogs from St. Catharines. “We didn’t have any puck luck; the puck just wasn’t bouncing for us,” manager Mike Hall said.
The HBC Peewees played Stratford Warriors MDs in their second game Thursday afternoon. The Rock came up with a “flat” performance and again lost 3-0. “We didn’t show up to play; I don’t know how you can sugar-coat it,” manager Hall reported.
The Peewees’ goal-scoring drought continued early Friday morning when they dropped a 4-0 decision to Shamrock rival Dorchester Dragons.
Sean Porter’s squad then advanced to the Tier 2 quarter-finals Friday afternoon, playing Rye Rangers from Bridgeport, Connecticut. The HBC Peewees were sidelined after losing 3-2 in a shootout.
Trevor Richardson and Connor Hall scored late in the third period to get St. Marys to the shootout. Hall’s goal came with just six seconds left to play and tied the score 2-2. Rye won the shootout 1-0.
To complete their tournament, the Peewee Rock played a Friendship Game Saturday morning against Fort Wayne Force from Indiana and lost 2-0.
Note: There were six U.S. teams in the Bantam A-E division, six U.S. teams in the Peewee A-E division, and eight in the Atom A-E division.