Oakville Rangers Minor Midget A Team Wins International Silver Stick!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Oakville, ON: -
Arguably the most prestigious tournament in Boy’s Rep Hockey is the International Silver Stick. Over 100 teams at the Minor Midget level from across North America participated in 12 regional qualifying tournaments in the hopes of advancing to the International Final in Newmarket. The Oakville Rangers Minor Midget A team began their quest for the Silver Stick at the Woodstock Regional qualifying tournament in early November 2012. After losing the first game of the tournament to St. Catharines, 2 to 1, the Rangers battled their way back with consecutive victories over the London Bandits, Cambridge Hawks and Amherstberg Stars. The Rangers reached the regional finals where they faced a very strong Brantford 99ers team. The Rangers played with a relentless attack that resulted in them winning 5 to 2 over the 99rs. The Rangers win over Brantford qualified them for the International Silver Stick finals in early January 2013. But the win did come at a severe cost. Defenceman Brett Switzer suffered a broken elbow in the final game and was going to be out of action for a minimum 8 weeks. The Rangers were already without forward Craig Cook who suffered a broken wrist prior to the tournament.
The Rangers first test in the Newmarket International Silver Stick was against the number one rated Minor Midget A team in the USA, the Arapahoe Warriors from Colorado. The only information the Rangers knew about the Warriors is they consisted of boys born in both 1996 and 1997 giving the Warriors a slight size advantage. The Rangers defeated Arapahoe 5 to 3 with two of the goals coming from their assistant captain, Luke Roy. Other goals came from Mitchell Jeffrey, Craig Cook and assistant captain, Vincent Reale. The Rangers next test was the Toronto Avalanche. The Avalanche defeated the Rangers 4 to 3 back in September in a preseason tournament. The Rangers wanted to avenge that previous loss and thanks to two goal efforts from both Matt McLachlin and Matthew Perruzza, the Rangers pulled out a 7 to 3 win. Other goals came from captain Aidan Challis, Tyler Bowie and Vincent Reale. Next was the North York Knights, another highly rated GTHL team. The Rangers found themselves in penalty trouble in this game but thanks to the great goaltending of Ryan Bell and the two-goal effort by Thomas Law and a single by Chris Boushy on a nice set up by Logan MacNeil and James Brett, the Rangers won 3 to 1. In the quarterfinals the Rangers playeded against an energetic Fresno Monsters team from California. Goals by Spencer Douglas and Aidan Challis resulted in a 2 to 0 victory. In the semi finals the Rangers played a solid and well-coached team from Ayr, Ontario. Patrick O’Brien got the Rangers first goal. The game was tied 1 to 1 until late in the third period when assistant captain Luke Roy deflected a low hard shot by Alex Sweett that resulted in the Rangers winning 2 to 1. The finals was a rematch against the Toronto Avalanche. The Avalanche came out of the gate with a furious attack. Ranger’s goalie, Matthew Rusak made some remarkable saves and held back the initial Avalanche attack. Thomas Law scored the first goal of the game and with the score 2 to 1 midway through the 3rd period, Thomas netted another goal to give the Rangers a 3 to 1 hard fought victory. Matt McLachlin scored the Rangers other goal. The Minor Midget A Oakville Rangers were crowned International Silver Stick Champions and will have their team name inscribed on a Champions Plaque and put on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame for one year. The team includes goalies Ryan Bell & Matthew Rusak, defenceman Spencer Douglas, James Brett, Alex Sweett, Vincent Reale, Tyler Bowie, Brett Switzer and Patrick O’Brien. Forwards include Craig Cook, Aidan Challis, Luke Roy, Mitchell Jeffrey, Logan MacNeil, Thomas Law, Matthew Perruzza, Matt McLachlin, & Chris Boushy. The Rangers are coached by Stephen Sweett, Assistant Coaches Graeme Bowie, Justin Bowie, Brian Rusak, Trainer Cort Challis & Team Manager Lenka Rusak. Congratulations Boys
Submitted by: Lenka Rusak
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