Titans take two of three titles at Big Nickel
by Randy Pascal
The local content may have been limited come Sunday morning of the 2013 Big Nickel Hockey Tournament, but there was no lack of excitement as two
of the three finals came right down to the final buzzer.
In the midget affair that wrapped up this year's tournament, the Toronto Nationals and Mississauga Rebels went to overtime tied at 1-1,
eventually needing a shootout before Jeremy Pullara scored the game-winning goal.
Michael Rehding opened the scoring for the Rebels, outshot 36-12 during the final, before defenseman James Guest pulled the Nats even
midway through the middle frame.
"We were struggling a little bit coming into the tournament," noted Toronto head coach Brett Punchard. "We had tied two games and lost one.
Overall, we have been playing well this year, losing only twice in league play."
"We lost the first game of the tournament in overtime, but then we kind of got on a roll," Punchard continued. "We got some veterans on the team that
really came to play and led us to the title."
Despite making the trek four hours north, it was a very familiar foe that would be manning the opposite bench come Sunday afternoon for Punchard and his
crew. "They're (Mississauga) a great team," he added.
"I've known their coach, Jamie Caruso, for a long time and he always puts together a great program. It's a good rivalry." The Peewee final pretty
much matched the Midgets in terms of excitement, with the Ottawa Valley Titans overcoming a 2-0 third period deficit, edging the Thunder Bay
Nicholas Cuddy kicked off the comeback, scoring on a power-play midway through the frame before Jesse Dick pulled the Titans even, wiring a
snap shot with 2:34 to play. With Thunder Bay still reeling, Ottawa Valley moved in for the kill as Brendan Hill scooped up a loose puck in the
slot, firing high for the decicing marker.
The Bantam gold medal encounter was the only one that was pretty much decided early as the Ottawa Valley Titans jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead
and cruised to a 5-0 win over the Eastern Ontario Wild. A balanced Titans' attack produced goals from William Searle, Kristopher Lalonde, Adam
Johnston, Liam Hawel and Adam Church against a Wild team that upset the Ottawa Jr 67's in their morning semi-final affair, 1-0.
A pair of Sudbury teams made it as far as the quarter-finals Saturday evening before they were sent packing. The Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves
were doubled 4-2 by the Markham Waxers in a penalty-filled affair, with Brad Sutton and D.J. Hancock scoring for the locals.
In the Bantam Division, the Sudbury Bantam "AAA" Wolves were ousted 5-0 by the eventual tournament champions after compiling a record of 2-2 in
round robin play. Following is a recap of all quarter-final and semi-final games:
Mississauga Rebels 3 (Derek Topattigh, Christian Rajic, Ethan Wiseman)
Thunder Bay Kings 1 (Daniel McKitrick)
Markham Waxers 4 (Scott Kirton-2, Cam Stajer, Ryan Bunka)
Sudbury N.C. Wolves 2 (Brad Sutton, D.J. Hancock)
Toronto Nationals 4 (Marco Bozzo-2, Steven Harland, Jeremy Pullara)
Toronto Red Wings 1 (Kyle Clarke)
Ajax-Pickering Raiders 4 (Tomas Azzano, Nathan Hudgin, Andrew Hughes, Kevin Ounjian)
Markham Majors 1 (Jacob Zemelman)
Toronto Nationals 2 (Kyle Molinnus, Steven Harland)
Markham Waxers 1 (Eric Wenske)
Mississauga Rebels 3 (Shawn Topattigh-2, Ethan Wiseman)
Ajax-Pickering Raiders 1 (Robert Clark)
Ottawa Valley Titans 5 (Logan Buchanan-2, Liam Hawel-2, Kristopher Lalonde)
Sudbury Wolves 0 (shutout Jacob Smith)
Ottawa Jr 67's 4 (Gregory Meireles-2, Ethan Rendell-Watson, Cameron Sinclair)
Central Ontario Wolves 1 (Jacob Durham)
Markham Majors 4 (Nate Mueller, Cole Resnick, Beau Binnie, Robert Brillinger)
CIH Academy 1 (Shawn Kempsay)
Eastern Ontario Wild 3 (Ryan Wells-2*, Mathieu Plante - *O/T winner)
Timmins Eagles 2 (Karter Renouf, Lucas Dolanjski)
Eastern Ontario Wild 1 (Zakary Rodrigue)
Ottawa Jr 67's 0 (shutout Nicholas Campbell)
Ottawa Valley Titans 4 (Adam Church-2, Taylor Carlson, Kristopher Lalonde)
Markham Majors 1 (Beau Binnie)
Thunder Bay Kings 5 (Christian Veneruzzo-2, Keighan Gerrie, Jonathan Kilby, Levi Siau)
Eastern Ontario Wild 1 (Jeremy Quesnel)
Ottawa Valley Titans 2 (Ryan Richardson, Jesse Dick - shootout goal)
Central Ontario Wolves 1 (Blake Murray)
As for the local teams, here is a recap of their games on Friday and Saturday, along with local goal scorers, if applicable:
Nickel City Peewee Sons
Thunder Bay Kings 1-3 (Jamie Wahamaa)
North York Rangers 2-1 (Carson McMillan, Adam Bertrand S/O)
Ottawa Valley Titans 0-7
Eastern Ontario Wild 2-5 (Jamie Wahamaa, Brett Huard)
Nickel City Bantam Sons
Ottawa Jr 67's 0-7
Markham Majors 2-5 (Nicholas Chokan, Daniel Walker)
Nickel City Midget Sons
Thunder Bay Kings 1-4 (Denver Ghent)
Toronto Red Wings 4-2 (Denver Ghent-2, Sheldon Lalonde, Kirk Traynor)
Markham Waxers 0-3
Sudbury Peewee Wolves
Upper Canada Cyclones 0-4
Rouyn-Noranda Citadelles 1-6 (Alexander Fowke)
Eastern Ontario Wild 1-2 (S/O - Riley Bridge)
Central Ontario Wolves 2-4 (Riley Bridge-2)
Sudbury N.C. Wolves
Burlington Eagles 4-1 (Austin Burke-2, Eric Paquette, Jackson Gunner)
Brampton 45's 1-2 (Anthony Pelletier)
Michigan Hockey Academy (3-0 - Anthony Pelletier, Rudy Giusti, Caleb Boman)
Sudbury Bantam Wolves
CIH Academy 3-4 (Jacob Burton-2, Ryder Thususka)
Ottawa Senators 2-1 (Gregory Trudeau-Paquet-2)
Eastern Ontario Wild 1-4 (Ryder Thususka)