Jan 18, 2016 | Dean DeSilva | 1103 views
KJR Minor Midgets Win Peterborough Tournament
The Kitchener Jr. Rangers Minor Midget AAA hockey club travelled to Peterborough to participate in the Annual Peterborough of Champions and came away as tournament champions.
The Peterborough tournament was set up slightly differently than other tournaments. This tournament had a single division of 18 teams. All teams played 4 games and controlled their own destiny as the top 4 teams advanced.
The Rangers started off Friday morning with a tough opponent, Honey Baked Hockey Club. These 2 teams had met before at the Brantford tournament in November where the Rangers tied Honey Baked during the preliminary and lost to Honey Baked in the finals. With this on the minds of the players the Jr. Rangers came out flying and never looked back. A strong first period saw the Jr. Rangers jump into a 2-0 lead that they never relinquished. The Jr. Rangers won their first game 5-0. Eric Uba led the way with a 4 point game and Rhett Kimmel was solid in earning the shutout.
Friday afternoon the Jr. Rangers played the pesky Richmond Hill Coyotes, another team we have seen in prior tournaments. The Jr. Rangers playing their 2nd game in a matter of hours didn't let that stop them has they didn't allow a shot in the first period. The fatigue caught up to them as the day went on however the boys in blue played a solid team game and won their 2nd game of the day 5-3. Jackson Dewar made key saves when needed to secure the win. Luke Bignell scored a natural hat trick while the entire defense core played solid.
Game 3 was played early Saturday morning and the Rangers found themselves facing Alliance rivals Chatham Cyclones. This was a team game from the drop of the puck as the Jr. Rangers played a solid team game dominating from start to finish. The Rangers took the game 8-0 with 8 different players finding the back of the net while holding Chatham to only 7 shots throughout the entire game. Jackson Dewar recorded the shutout.
The Jr. Rangers were feeling good with a 3-0 record however there were 7 teams that had the potential to go 4-0 heading into the games Saturday afternoon with only the top 4 advancing. The Jr. Rangers faced another 3-0 team in the Markham Waxers. The Rangers played another solid team game but struggled to find the back of the net. After a scoreless 1st period both teams exchanged goals in the 2nd and headed into the 3rd period tied 1-1. The Rangers took the lead at the lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game. Markham never quit and with their goalie pulled and a scramble in front of the net involving every player on the ice the puck squirted out to the extra attacker who was able to convert it and find the open cage with 16 seconds left leaving the game a 2-2 draw. Rhett Kimmel was solid making some excellent saves to keep his team in this game.
The round robin portion of the tournament ended with 5 teams having a record of 3-0-1. It came down to goals for and against and the Rangers found themselves as the 2nd ranked team in the tournament and advanced to the Semi-Finals.
In the Semi-Finals the Rangers faced a fast and physical Niagara Falls North Star hockey club that threw everything at the Jr. Rangers. The North Stars came out flying and had the Jr. Rangers on their heals in the first period however the Rangers capitalized on their chances and Rhett Kimmel was again solid between the posts to see the first period end with the Jr. Rangers up 2-1. The 2nd period was a fast and exciting back and forth game that saw Niagara capitalize on their chances and get 2 goals to take a 3-2 lead heading into the 3rd. The 3rd period was another exciting period where the Jr. Rangers played a solid team game and tied the score 3 minutes into the period. With the potential of overtime looming Josh Beach showed his strength in front of the net and put in a rebound to give the Jr. Rangers a 4-3 lead with 3:04 remaining. The Rangers took a penalty with 36 seconds left and the North Stars were like sharks in the water swarming everywhere with their goalie on the bench. The Jr. Rangers defense battled hard, the forwards were blocking shots and Rhett Kimmel was guarding the cage fearlessly as the Jr. Rangers hung for the victory and advanced to the finals.
The 6th game in 3 days is tough for both teams as the Jr. Rangers faced off against the Oakland Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are a team the Jr. Rangers hadn't seen since August's exhibition games. The Jr. Rangers played a solid team game once again and frustrated the opposition. Four different players scored, including 2 short handed goals, as the Jr. Rangers put an exclamation mark on their solid weekend with a 4-0 victory. The Jr. Rangers showed their family strength and team toughness throughout the entire weekend, especially in the finals.
Congratulations to the boys for their hard work this weekend!!
The Kitchener Jr. Rangers Minor Midget AAA hockey club finishes out their regular season this week as they battle for playoff positioning.
Wednesday January 20 - 8:00 pm - Waterloo
Saturday January 23 - 4:00 pm - Cambridge
Sunday January 24 - 5:00 pm - Hamilton
All games are at Activa. Come out and support your Minor Midget AAA Jr. Rangers