All three of the younger local AAA teams were involved in out of town tournament action last weekend, with the Nickel City U13 AAA Sons making it through to the semi-finals of the Oakville Rangers Winter Classic, before being eliminated.
Coming off a very solid road trip to Sault Ste Marie, earning a pair of wins and a close loss with the Soo Jr Greyhounds (6-2; 4-3 in OT; 1-3 loss), the Sons overcame a 5-2 setback at the hands of the Elgin-Middlesex Canucks (Preston Hebert, Malik Jakubo), earning a split on Friday thanks to a 4-2 win over the Kingston Jr Gaels (Seth Verbiwski - 2; Ty Belanger, Dacey Dupuis).
That momentum carried over to Saturday as the Sons toppled the Clarington Toros 4-1, with Preston Hebert netting a pair of goals and Seth Verbiwski and Nick Christakos adding one marker each.
Now on a roll, the Nickel City lads bulldozed their way past the Central Ontario Wolves as Dacey Dupuis and Seth Verbiwski showed the way with two-goal efforts in a 7-2 win that saw the locals finish round robin play with a record of 3-1-0.
Greyson Hnatiuk, Cooper Niquet and Preston Hebert also hit the scoresheet as the Sons caught a break with ties being the order of the day on Saturday evening, leaving the host Huron-Perth Lakers and Elgin-Middlesex Canucks fighting it out for the tie-breaker, both with records of 2-1-1 and their ties coming against different opponents.
When the dust settled, it would be Nickel City battling the eventual gold medal winning Ottawa Myers Automotive crew, dropping a 4-3 heart-breaker as Nick Christakos scored twice and Ezio Cusinato joined him on the scoresheet.
A bit further north and west of Oakville, the Nickel City U12 AAA Sons were in Stratford, site of the Great Lakes County Cup< hosted by the Huron-Perth Lakers.
The Whitby Wildcats spotted the local U12 squad a 1-0 first period lead, with Padraig Courtney hitting the mark before storming back to register a 3-1 triumph over the Sons in game one, with Nickel City clawing their way back to the .500 mark later that day.
Greyson MacKenzie and Jonny Croome potted two goals apiece as the Sons jumped out to a 5-2 lead over the Grey-Bruce Highlanders, holding on for a 5-4 win as Coen Chretien capped off the scoring for the northern reps.
Nickel City reversed the order on Saturday, kicking things off with a 6-3 win over the Credit River Capitals and sporting a balanced attack that would see Maximus Falcioni, Camden Poirier, Zachary Tyson, Blake Bubalo, Greyson MacKenzie and Padraig Courtney all find the back of the net for the winners.
Closing things off with a tight-checking affair, Nickel City broke the ice on a goal from Maximus Falcioni before the Central Ontario Wolves answered with one in the second and another in the third, slipping past the Sons 2-1.
Finally, the Nickel City U14 AAA Sons joined their U12 brethren in Stratford, posting a record of 1-2-1 and generally playing pretty decent hockey after their tournament-opening 4-0 loss to the Greater Kingston Jr Gaels.
The U14 Sons narrowly missed walking away with a 2-2 record, building a 3-2 lead over the Richmond Hill Coyotes on goals from Sam Piette, Carter McAllister and Gillis O'Daiskey before the Yotes pull a point out of the fire, burying the equalizer in the final minute of play.
Battling the silver medal winning York Simcoe Express in game three, Nickel City held the provincial powerhouse at bay, down 1-0 going into the third and eventually falling 2-0 before putting a bow on their trip with a 2-1 win over the Clarington Toros, with Grady Dale and Carter Mullen hitting the target for the Sons.