Great weekend for U13 boys at Mitchell tournament
Firefighters finish strong second in 12-team division at 65th annual Meteors' event
Defenceman Zach Larmer, of the U13 'BB' boys hockey team, makes a pass to a teammate during a recent Shamrock League game at the PRC. Larmer, the team captain, and the U13 squad finished a strong second in their 12-team division at the recent Mitchell tou
By Pat Payton
MITCHELL - It was a "great weekend" for the St. Marys U13 'BB' boys team at the 65th annual Mitchell Meteors (Peewee-age) minor hockey tournament, held on the Nov. 12-14 weekend.
Sponsored by the Firefighters, the Bob Davis-coached team won its first four games and went into the championship game undefeated. However, in the final, the Rock lost a very close 3-2 decision to Shamrock rival Ilderton Jets.
Overall, Davis was very pleased with his team's performance.
"It was probably the best hockey we've played all year," the veteran coach said. "It was a real team effort. We play better when we play together.
"They're a great bunch of kids, and they're buying into everything that we're teaching them. We've been working a lot on offence, and we're learning how to attack the zone and spread the defence out."
It obviously paid off in the Meteors' tournament as the Firefighters out-scored their opponents 26-11 in their five games.
Twelve teams in division
There were 12 teams in St. Marys' division (BB-B-CC). There were a total of four divisions altogether. In total, 38 teams competed in the long-running tourney, which dates back to 1956.
On the Friday morning, the Firefighters opened against Porcupine Jr. Gold Kings from the Timmins area and skated to a 4-1 victory. That afternoon, Davis and company made it 2-0 with a 7-3 win over the Listowel Cyclones. The Rock trailed 3-1 after two periods, but scored six unanswered in the third. "We got goals from everybody," Davis noted.
On the Saturday, the Firefighters had just one game, but had their offence in high gear as they easily handled the Erin-Hillsburgh Devils 8-1. With a goals for-and-against record of 19-5 to that point, St. Marys was the top seed going into Sunday's playoff round.
In the semi-finals in the morning, the Rock defeated Listowel for a second time, 5-3, to earn their spot in the division final.
Close final game
In the championship game in the afternoon, Firefighters faced Ilderton -- a team coached by former Jr. 'B' star Carson Brookshaw and a Jets team that had recently defeated St. Marys 5-0 in Shamrock League play.
"Five-on-five, we had the edge," Davis reported. "We controlled a lot of the play, and missed more chances than they did. I think we out-chanced them."
The Rock also hit three goal posts, while two of the Ilderton goals came on powerplays.
Trailing 3-1 with 65 seconds left in the third, Firefighters went on a powerplay and also pulled their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage. St. Marys scored with 48 seconds remaining to close the gap to a single goal.
"For the rest of the game, Ilderton never got out of their end and we had three great chances," the head coach said. "We just couldn't get it done."
"We were very proud of how the boys played in Mitchell," assistant coach Mike Davis added. "They did everything that we asked of them, and they left everything on the ice."
--From all reports, the Mitchell tournament was a very well-run event.
--Two forwards who scored big goals in the tourney were Hayden Wright and Donovan McGregor.
--In addition to Bob Davis and his son Mike, the remainder of the Firefighters' staff consists of assistant coach Rick O'Donnell, trainer Brett O'Drowsky and manager Brandon Boyd.
"For all the years I've coached minor hockey, I've always enjoyed it," Bob Davis said. "But I've had more fun this year than I've had for a long time."
--Coach Davis is hoping the Firefighters' strong showing in Mitchell will carry over to their Regional Silver Stick tournament in Watford, Dec. 9-12.
--Next SHL home game for the U13s is Wednesday, Nov. 24 against Belmont, starting at 7:10 p.m.