Winners decided in U15, U14, U13, U12 divisions
Last weekend, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) held its championship tournaments for various birth years. Two of the clubs, 2008-born York Simcoe Express and 2011-born Oakville Rangers were the lone two to be featured in the WHH Rankings.
York Simcoe goes undefeated
The defensive strength of York Simcoe Express showed up during group play at the U15 division, allowing only three goals in three games. It was put to the test in the team’s first playoff matchup against the Halton Hurricanes. York Simcoe padded its lead to 3-0 towards the midway point of the third period. Just 40 seconds later, the Hurricanes got themselves on the board. While killing off a power play, Halton would cut the lead to 3-2 when it managed to get a shorthanded goal. With 3:05 remaining on the clock, Halton tied the game at 3. With a chance to reset in overtime, the Express managed to hold off Halton’s comeback and netted the winning goal. York Simcoe would go on to defeat the Oakville Rangers 3-2 in the final contest to cap off its 5-0-0 run.
Halton gets it done in overtime
The Halton Hurricanes got off to a rocky start in the U14 division before rebounding with three straight wins to take home the title. Opening with a 3-3 tie against the Southern Tier Admirals, they then fell 5-2 to the Barrie Jr. Colts later in the same day. Halton finished group play with a strong 4-2 win over the Quinte Red Devils, where they secured the victory with three third-period goals. The Hurricanes finished off York Simcoe Express in overtime to get to a rematch against the Jr. Colts with the championship on the line. Despite Halton scoring first and taking a 1-0 lead into the second period, Barrie quickly collected the next three goals to build a 3-1 lead. In the final minutes of the period, the Hurricanes found the back of the net twice to even the score. With no goals found in the third frame, overtime was required where Halton netted the game-winner.
Wildcats stun Capitals
The Whitby Wildcats overcame a 4-2 tournament-opening loss to the Barrie Jr. Colts to win its next four for the U13 division championship. Down 1-0 in their first playoff matchup against the Quinte Red Devils, the Wildcats cashed in on a power play with 3:19 left in regulation to force overtime. They would eventually find the game-winner to secure a spot in the final against the Credit River Capitals. Deadlocked at 2 late in the third period, the Capitals found the back of the net with 2:41 remaining. Whitby clawed its way back to tying the game with 12 seconds left to bring things into the extra frame tied at 3. The Wildcats completed the comeback in overtime.
Rangers best Red Devils
It was an undefeated performance backstopped by defense and goaltending that helped the Oakville Rangers obtain the U12 championship. Oakville recorded three straight shutout victories over the Southern Tier Admirals, Central Ontario Wolves and Richmond Hill Coyotes to get to the playoff stage. In the first contest, the Niagara North Stars finally broke through when they tallied a shorthanded goal to go up 1-0 in the second period. After the North Stars doubled their lead to 2-0, things looked dire for the Rangers. Oakville, however, would not go down without a fight and struck twice in the final five seconds of the game to force overtime. Almost a full second game would be played, with Oakville finally finding the winning goal in the third overtime. In the championship game against the Quinte Red Devils, the Rangers found their defensive form once again and collected another shutout en route to the championship.