Who Will Win at one of the Largest Youth Hockey Tournaments in the World
It’s become a staple for the youth hockey community, and for 2022, it’s truly back to ‘normal.’
The CCM World Invite Motown is taking place across Metro Detroit this weekend, bringing 352 teams to Michigan. For the first time since 2019, Canadian teams are making their triumphant return to the tournament field.
Despite playing a ‘normal’ season last year, Canadian clubs still had restricted travel due to COVID-19. That meant no cross-country showdowns for the Motown tournament.
This year, Canadian AAA teams are popping up all over the schedule for the various age groups set to compete. The tournament features multiple divisions for the Elite AAA, AAA and AA classifications in the 2013 through 2008 birth years, as well as the 15-only, 16-and-under and 18-and-under age groups.
The top teams in each age group are competing in the Supertacks divisions, and that’s what we will be focusing on this weekend. Here’s a look at each of the age groups featuring teams in the world rankings. In all, more than 6,000 players and 350 teams are expected to compete in the 2022 CCM World Invite Motown:
11U Supertacks (2011 birth year)
There are 16 teams set to compete in the top division of the 2011 field for the CCM Motown, and it’s an impressive mix of teams from across the U.S. and Canada.
While the No. 6-ranked Chicago Reapers are the highest-rated American team leading into the weekend, the top team in Canada shows up as the heavy favorite as well. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens are the No. 1 team in Canada — and second in the world — and will be in Pool A. They’ll be joined by the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, Chicago Fury and London Jr. Knights. The Reapers, on the other hand, will be jockeying for position with Victory Honda, Buffalo Regals and York Simcoe Express.
If either of those two highly-ranked clubs slip up, the Reapers and the Jr. Canadiens could end up meeting in the first quarterfinal on Saturday. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be until the semifinals or championship for a heavyweight matchup like that.
The squads in Pool B and Pool C — Vaughan Kings, Team Illinois, California Goldrush, Belle Tire, Florida Alliance, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals, Oakville Rangers and Soo Jr. Greyhounds — make for a deep field for the ’11 age group.
We still think, however, that the Jr. Canadiens aren’t going to squander their weekend trip to the Motor City.
Predicted winner: Toronto Jr. Canadiens
12U Supertacks (2010 birth year)
The 2010 birth year shapes up to potentially be a battle between two midwest hockey hotbeds in Detroit and Chicago. Little Caesars, ranked No. 5 in the country, headlines the field, while No. 8 Chicago Fury and No. 10 Chicago Reapers are ready to tangle.
Nine other teams will be fighting for the coveted Motown title. Canadian-based teams Soo Jr. Greyhounds, Burlington Eagles, Sun County Panthers, Credit River Capitals and Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs make up half the field. Fox Motors, Indiana Elite, Pittsburgh Vengeance and Compuware round out the field. Needless to say, with teams flocking in from all corners of the North America, this division will be fun to watch.
Little Caesars and Reapers won’t have to wait until elimination rounds for a Top-10 showdown — they will square off at noon on Saturday.
Worth noting, the Credit River Capitals are a new AAA program drawing from Brampton Hockey, Caledon Minor Hockey and Orangeville Minor Hockey in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association.
With wins over Chicago’s Mission and Fury this season already, Caesars should certainly be expected to take the Supertacks division in the battle of Original Six cities.
Predicted winner: Little Caesars
13U Supertacks (2009 birth year)
There are only eight teams in the 13U Supertacks division, but this could easily be seen as the premier division of the weekend.
Four of the eight teams appear on the world rankings — three from the U.S. and one from Canada. The American squads include No. 3 Chicago Reapers, No. 5 Anaheim Jr. Ducks and No. 6 Little Caesars. Meanwhile, the Toronto Titans — ranked No. 2 in all of Canada — come across the border.
Factor in that the other participants are still storied programs in the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Toronto Red Wings, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals and Team Illinois, and we can’t wait to see this division play out.
Prediction: Chicago Reapers
14U Supertacks (2008 birth year)
A whole lot of storied programs show up in Metro Detroit for the Motown this weekend. While they may not currently appear on the WHH rankings, they’re still some of the biggest names and most notable clubs on the continent.
The London Jr. Knights, Toronto Red Wings and Toronto Nationals represent the Canadian contingent. They will be taking on the Chicago Fury, Victory Honda, HoneyBaked, Ohio Blue Jackets, SHAHA Panthers, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, Chicago Reapers, Madison Capitols and Anaheim Ice Dogs.
HoneyBaked has been heating up as of late. When you consider that this division is taking place at their home rink and a few facilities nearby, we like HB to take care of business in this bracket.
15O Supertacks (2007 birth year)
Much like the 14U group, there are plenty of big-name programs slated to compete in the 15O Supertacks division. The Mississauga Reps come in from Canada, while teams like the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes, Belle Tire, Victory Honda and Chicago Reapers look to make some noise at the prestigious tournament. We have the Reps’ Friday games against the Madison Capitols and Oakland Jr. Grizzlies circled. Both contests will serve as measuring sticks for how some 15O Canadian programs stack up against their American counterparts.
Omaha Mastery has a ‘Cinderella story’ feel with a 17-2-0 record. This weekend is a big opportunity for the Nebraska-based squad to make a statement. They already have a Chicago Steel Icebreaker championship to their name this season. We like them to add some more hardware here.
Prediction: Omaha Mastery
16U Supertacks (2006 birth year)
An eight-team field makes up the 16U Supertacks division for Motown. The Anaheim Ice Dogs, Tri-State Spartans, Maine Nordiques, Team Wisconsin, Golden State Elite, Pittsburgh Predators, Wasatch Renegades and Michigan Hockey Advancement (MHA) round out the field. It’s a pick-‘em here, so we will go with MHA. They are a collection of top high school players in the state, eager to prove themselves to scouts before heading off to their respective high school programs.