The Nickel City Major Peewee "AAA" Sons now have a starting point from which to build, provincially speaking.
Making their first appearance at an All-Ontario championship, the collection of 2006-born talent failed to hit the win column in Ottawa, posting an 0-6 record at the tournament which eventually crowned the Mississauga Senators as provincial champions.
The Sons wasted little time garnering a first-hand appreciation of the caliber of their opposition, beaten 6-1 by the Brantford 99ers after Caden Dubreuil opened the scoring late in the first period.
Unfortunately, a five goal second period outburst by the 99ers propelled Brantford to a relatively easy win. The best Nickel City outing, from a strictly statistical standpoint, came in game two when they were edged, 4-3, by the Thunder Bay Kings.
Trailing 1-0 after one, the Sons tied the game on a second period power play goal from James Bertrim, but were behind by two at the end of the middle stanza. Yves Doiron made things interesting, scoring twice in the third, but Nolen Sloan managed to squeeze the game-winning goal right in between the pair of tallies from Doiron, giving the northwestern Ontario crew the win.
Game three got away from the NOHA champs in a hurry as the Ottawa Jr 67's opened the scoring just 24 seconds in, recording a comfortable 6-1 victory as Devan Madore became the fifth different member of the Sons to hit the scoresheet, spoiling the shutout bid at the 10:24 mark of period two.
Day three was a tough one, with two more games on the slate, both against top end opponents. Mississauga received a pair of goals from Gabriel Frasca and a four-assist outing from William Moore in stopping the Sons 6-1, with Nolan Newton countering in a losing cause.
Different opponent but same result as the Markham Waxers blitzed the local entry in the opening frame, bolting to a 4-0 lead and increasing it by two before Brady Boucher replied with the only Nickel City marker in a 6-1 loss.
One final chance for victory starts well enough, as Yves Doiron gives the Sons a 2-0 lead over Ottawa Myers, heading into the second period, before Ottawa counters with four unanswered goals, including the final one into an empty-net.
The end result will undoubtedly serve as motivation as head coach Tim Stortini is right back on the ice this week, leading the tryouts for the 2019-2010 edition of the Nickel City Minor Bantam "AAA" Sons, the age at which players from both the Nickel City Hockey Association and Sudbury Minor Hockey Association are merged into a single combined team - at least for now.