One Team From Every Group With A Chance To Win The Tournament
A tournament that dates back to 1957, the International Silver Sticks is one of the oldest and longest running youth hockey events in North America. This season, some of the top teams from the United States and Canada clash at the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 birth years. They compete with the hopes of winning one of the most unique trophies in the sport; a full-size silver hockey stick. One hundred AAA-level teams will compete in the top divisions of the tournament. We dive deep into the field to offer one team from each Group with the potential to win the whole thing.
It’s called 15O in the U.S., and U16 in Canada. At the end of the day, they’re all 2007-born players. This year’s field consists of 30 teams, three of them from below the 49th parallel. The No. 2 Bishop Kearney, No. 9 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and unranked Cleveland Barons join a field that consists of the top nine teams from Canada. That’s right, from No. 1 Toronto Marlboros and No. 2 Don Mills Flyers down to No. 10 Halton Hurricanes, the 2007 division is stacked.
Group 1: Three teams have a legit shot at winning this group of five. Unranked Vaughan Kings could play spoiler, but it will come down to the matchup between Bishop Kearney and Halton. The Hurricanes have lost outright just once since September. They stay hot and win the group.
Group 2: This should come down to No. 7 Toronto Jr. Canadiens and No. 8 Southern Tier Admirals. The two teams played last month, and the Jr. Canadiens came out on top 3-1 at the Wendy Duffton Memorial Tournament. Nico Addy, Jake O’Brien and the Jr. Canadiens have a deep offense that gives them an advantage here.
Group 3: If the London Jr. Knights want to be talked about amongst the best in the country, they need to have a strong showing here. Ryan Roobroeck is one of the best forwards in the country, and he’s playing like it too. He has 45 goals and 77 points in 25 games for London and he alone could be enough for them to advance to the playoff rounds.
Group 4: Toronto Marlboros. That’s it. They’re the No. 1 team in Canada and should be considered one of the favorites to win the entire tournament. They’re 10-2-0 in the last month and should make quick work of pool play opponents.
Group 5: Don Mills Flyers come in as the highest-ranked team in the field. However, they’ve already lost to pool opponents No. 6 York Simcoe Express 5-3 and unranked Toronto Young Nationals 4-3. The ‘favorite’ ain’t the favorite here; take the Nationals as an underdog in the pool, and potentially in the playoffs as well.
Group 6: It’s unfortunate that the No. 3 Mississauga Rebels and unranked Peterborough Petes open up pool play against each other. Odds are, the playoff bid for Group 6 will be decided on the first day of the tournament. Rebels run wild after an opening-day win and make a push deep into the final day of the weekend.
Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, Middlesex Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins Elite represent the U.S. among the field of 25 teams. MFJR sits at No. 7 in the country and the trio of American teams will compete with No. 1 Don Mills Flyers, No. 2 Toronto Jr. Canadiens, No. 4 Sun County Panthers, No. 5 Toronto Red Wings, No. 6 Toronto Titans and No. 8 Toronto Marlboros.
Group 1: The Jr. Canadiens are the No. 2 team in the country, and should be one of the favorites to win Silver Sticks. The Toronto Red Wings may be the only team to put up a fight in pool play, and that’s a team that the Jr. Canadiens have already defeated 8-1 earlier this season.
Group 2: Ottawa Myers Automotive has played a tough slate of games this season and competed with the best in the country. They survive a really close, scrappy group where multiple teams finish with multiple wins and multiple losses. Ottawa takes that survive-and-advance mentality into playoffs and may even steal a game there as well.
Group 3: Sun County and Mid-Fairfield will meet for the third time this season, each team with a win apiece. The winner advances to the playoff rounds — and the loser may, as well — but the Panthers win a close one in the final game of pool play to lock up a spot.
Group 4: One more upset to keep an eye on. Watch unranked Huron-Perth Lakers give No. 8 Toronto Marlboros all they can handle on Friday night. It just might be enough for the Lakers to pull an upset and steal an automatic playoff bid out of Group 4.
Group 5: Don Mills Flyers should go 4-0-0 in pool play. They might not get tested until the quarters or semifinal playoff rounds. On one hand, it can be beneficial to cruise into the final four. On the other, DMF runs the risk of an upset when facing the first signs of adversity. Nonetheless, the Flyers should be one of the last teams standing on Sunday.
Once again, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers will represent the U.S. in the 2011 Division just like their 2009-born counterparts. The difference here is PPE is No. 1 in the country and MFJR is No. 2, respectively. If the U.S. has a shot at winning a Silver Sticks tournament on Canadian soil, these two teams may lay claim to it. Five teams in the Canadian Top 10 will stand in their way, making the 2011 Division a close one to call.
Group 1: Mid-Fairfield, welcome to Canada! You get the No. 4 Vaughan Kings and No. 6 Oakville Rangers in pool play. It’s not a great draw for anyone in Group 1, but someone’s gotta survive. Advancing could come down to tiebreakers like goal differential or something wonky. Vaughan doesn’t give up much defensively, so maybe that gives them a leg up in a tight group.
Group 2: U.S.-based Rochester Coalition took top-ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens to overtime last month. They might’ve surprised Toronto in the first go-round but that won’t happen again. Toronto takes care of business in a big way.
Group 3: Little Caesars is a storied program that has had a lot of success throughout this tournament’s history. Expect a strong showing from its only team in the field at any group. However, the automatic bid goes through Halton Hurricanes — a game that Caesars can win, but just not expecting it.
Group 4: It’s Elgin-Middlesex Canucks’ group to lose, but it won’t come easy. Both Middlesex Islanders and Toronto Titans provide big obstacles to tackle. As long as the Jr. Canadiens aren’t in EMC’s way — they’ve handed the Canucks two of their three losses this season — Elgin-Middlesex has a real shot at winning the entire tournament.
Group 5: If the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite don’t survive pool play, it’s a bad sign for Americans. Pens Elite have played nine games this season against Canadian opponents in preparation for this tournament. They’re 6-3-0 in those games and if PPE can’t make a run here, USA may be shut out of a Silver Stick championship altogether.
It’s the smallest field of teams with just 20, at the youngest age group of the tournament. It’s the most diverse field of the tournament, though, with a third of the teams representing the USA. World Hockey Hub does not provide rankings for this age group, however, there’s one team from each group below with a chance to win it all.
Group 1: Quinte Red Devils
Group 2: Little Caesars
Group 3: Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers
Group 4: Toronto Jr. Canadiens
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