Bantams win big at Bradford tourney
SUBMITTED The minor bantam A Terriers won the Bradford Blue and Gold Classic recently.
The Rama First Nation Orillia minor bantam A Terriers captured the Bradford Blue and Gold Classic title recently.
The local hockey team went undefeated all weekend. It started with a hard-fought 1-1 tie against Markham in Game 1 of the round robin, with Nolan Inglis scoring the lone goal for the Terriers.
Game 2 saw Orillia hold off Sudbury for a 4-2 win, with goals from Brock Jeffels, Sam Laughlin and two goals and an assist from Whyatt Winkel that earned him the player-of-the-game award.
Game 3 ended in another 1-1 tie with Amherstbur,g with Jakson Gerrard tallying the lone Orillia goal. The results in the round Robin set up a rematch in the semifinal against Amherstburg. The balance of play was largely dominated by Orillia, but goals were few and far between. Inglis hammered home a rebound in the first to open the scoring, and Jhett Winkel tallied in the second from the point. The two goals were all Jackson Mitchell required as he made some timely saves to record a shutout. The Orillia penalty kill did well to kill off a late offensive-zone penalty to secure the win. The victory vaulted Orillia into the final against the Stratford Warriors, who had won every game in the tourney in convincing fashion.
The final was on the Sunday morning and saw Orillia storm out of the gate, pressing the No. 1-seed Warriors, but the Stratford goalie stood tall in the first period to keep the game scoreless. In the second, Gerrard lifted the puck home in a scramble in front created by a Jonah Teahan shot that hit the post. Stratford came back late in the period to tie the game and it remained that way into the third, when Orillia came out with purpose and Jeffels put home a shot while streaking up the wing, which finished off a nice passing play started by Owen Banks.
Andrew Thorn tallied midway through the period with a hard point shot that made its way through an Orillia screen. Inglis sealed the win with a last-minute empty-netter as Orillia completed the upset for the tourney title. Sam Neely stood tall, thwarting any Stratford attempt at a comeback, with solid goaltending that earned him the player-of-the-game award.
The Terriers have started the season smoking hot, with a six-game winning streak, and find themselves in first place in the York-Simcoe standings. The team has had solid defence and stellar goaltending from Mitchell and Neely, keeping opponents to fewer than two goals per game, on average.
Leading scorers to start the season are Gerrard and Inglis. The Terriers have five league games remaining in October.