Kings capture first U14 OHL Cup; Jr. Canadiens, Lakers win big at U15, U13
The Vaughan Kings did it first.
With a 8-1 victory over the York-Simcoe Express on Saturday afternoon, the Kings captured the first-ever U14 OHL Cup.
The new tournament — an expansion of the iconic U16 OHL Cup – featured 12 of the top U14 AAA teams in the province of Ontario, and it was played over the course of three days.
The inaugural event was hosted by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and played at Joshua’s Creek Arena in Oakville, Ontario. Here is a look at the teams that were invited:
- OMHA – Champion (Peterborough Petes), Finalist (York-Simcoe Express), 3rd Place Team (Oakville Rangers)
- GTHL – Champion (Vaughan Kings), Finalist (Toronto Marlboros), 3rd Place Team (North York Rangers)
- Alliance – Champion (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs), Finalist (London Jr. Knights)
- HEO – Champion (Upper Canada Cyclones), Finalist (Ottawa Myers Automotive)
- NOHA – Champion (Soo Jr. Greyhounds), Finalist (Sudbury Nickel Capitals)
“The OHL is proud to partner with the OMHA to present this exciting opportunity, and we look forward to an outstanding weekend of hockey in Oakville,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch prior to the event. “Occurring annually since 2003, the OHL Cup Showcase for U16 AAA players has included familiar names such as Connor McDavid, John Tavares and Steven Stamkos, in addition to countless players that have played in the OHL and gone on to pursue various careers with the use of their OHL Scholarship.
“The Ontario Hockey League is very proud to be a part of presenting a championship tournament of this magnitude to the U14 AAA category.”
The Kings, a team that entered the tournament as a heavy favorite after winning the GTHL, lived up to the hype, going 4-0-1 in tournament play en route to the title.
“It’s a little surreal,” said Kings head coach Daniel Spivak, who worked alongside a pair of OHL alumni in assistants Justin DiBenedetto and Mark Cundari. “The boys came hard, and after two years of interrupted hockey seasons, this is awfully rewarding for our guys who never quit and kept putting in the work.
“All of these guys bought in,” Spivak continued. “As a coach, it’s all you can hope for. They pushed through, they never stopped and it’s remarkable.”
After opening play with a 2-2 tie against the London Jr. Knights, Vaughan rebounded with some dominating wins — 9-3 over the Oakville Rangers, 7-3 over the Middlesex Chiefs in the quarterfinals and 10-2 over the OMHA champion Peterborough Petes in the semifinals.
Caleb Malhotra, son of former NHL star Manny Malhotra, led the tournament in scoring with 13 points – five of which came in the final game. Ben Bowen, Jager Pain and Alessandro Di lorio all had 11 in the five games.
A Perfect Season For The Jr. Canadiens
The Toronto Jr. Canadiens just wrapped up an undefeated season with the U15 All-Ontario Championships title.
With an 8-0 run through the Ontario Hockey Federation playoffs, the Canadiens finished the season 50-0-4, dominating the competition en route to the U15AAA All-Ontario championship.
The Jr. Canadiens out-scored the competition 48-8 in those eight games; they logged four shutouts during the timeframe.
Chase Yanni and Nico Addy led the team in scoring with 15 points apiece, while Jake O’Brien had 13 and Simon Wang had 11.
Twins Nico and Alex Armellin split the time between the pipes for the Jr. Canadiens, both winning four games apiece. Nico Finished with a .944 save percentage, and Alex had a .934 mark; both recorded 1.00 goals-against averages and two shutouts.
Yanni was presented with the top scorer award at the conclusion of the tournament; Halton Hurricanes blueliner Casey Bridgewater was named top defenseman and the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs’ Matthew Koprowski was named most-sportsmanlike.
Huron-Perth captures U13AAA All-Ontario title
At the U13 level, it was the Huron-Perth Lakers emerging victorious.
The Lakers topped the Don Mills Flyers 3-2 in the title game to secure the U15AAA All-Ontario championship.
It was some sweet revenge for Huron-Perth, after Don Mills had prevailed 6-3 in the preliminary round. That was one of two losses in the playoffs for Huron-Perth, as they also had to overcome a 6-5 loss to Ottawa Valley to earn their spot in the elimination round.
Lyndon Cabral led the Lakers in scoring with 15 points in the eight games; Kane Barch was just behind with 13. Maddyx Chaput posted nine, while Clark deBoer and Hudsyn Chaput both finished with eight.
Vaughn Barr played in seven of the eight games between the pipes, logging a 3.50 goals-against average and .840 save percentage. Andrew Menlove played in two contests, as well.
The All-Ontario championships effectively mark the conclusion to the 2021-22 winter season. Attention now shifts to the “off-season” — a phrase used lightly in AAA circles, as showcase season, selects teams, tours and tryouts are right around the corner for many high-end players.
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