A fast start to a new season is always a good thing, and the Nickel City Minor Bantam "A" Tigers seem to be on a roll of late, both in regular season play and tournament action.
The Tigers returned from the recent Kenny Robbins Memorial Fall Bantam Hockey Tournament in Orillia as Minor Bantam "A" champions, squeezing past the host Orillia Terriers 3-2 in the final.
Playing in a five-team pool, Nickel City stumbled out of the gate, dropping a 2-0 decision to the London Bandits in their opening game. A slight improvement was in store the following morning as the Tigers played to a 3-3 tie with the West London Hawks.
Nik Desantis, Josh Duckett and Zacharie Thibault scored for the locals, who finished fourth and were back on the ice less than three hours later, playing an elimination game against the Toronto Penguins.
The team started to hit their stride at this point, blanking the Penguins 3-0 as goals from Brett Boileau, Matthieu Verreault and Duckett provided support to a 14-save shutout performance from Jacob Chartrand.
Facing the round-robin leading Bandits in a semi-final battle, the Tigers avenged their earlier loss, doubling London 4-2. Adam Hinds paced the Nickel City attack with a two-goal effort with Brendan Ranney and Verreault adding one goal apiece.
The northern crew remained red hot in the gold medal encounter as Desantis, Ranney and Thibault found the back of the net, with Chartrand turning aside 22 of the 24 shots he faced in silencing the Terriers.
The Nickel City lads followed up with a pair of wins upon returning home before being saddled with their first regular season loss, dropping a 5-4 decision to the Blind River Barracudas Tuesday night in Blind River.
The 2011-2012 edition of the Nickel City Minor Bantam "A" Tigers includes Sean Antonioni, Brett Boileau, Brad Boivin, Nik Desantis, Zackary Dubé-Lessard, Josh Duckett, Adam Hinds, Jacob McDonald, Colin Potts, Matt Quenville, Brendan Ranney, Anthony Talevi, Zacharie Thibault, Ian Thom, Matthieu Verreault, David Withers, goaltenders Jacob Chartrand and Josh Kneblewski and head coach Rick Poitras.