Silver Stick Twist

Dec 3, 2021 | John Klinck


Whitby Tournament Returns After One-Year Absence

The last time Silver Stick champions were crowned in Whitby, Ontario, an American team won the prestigious title at the U16 age group.

This time around, only one U.S.-based program was even in attendance for the premiere November event – but nobody was complaining.

It’s great to have events like the Gloria Rints Memorial International Silver Stick Tournament taking place once again, even if it means spectators didn’t get to see many border battles. 

After missing an entire year of Silver Stick because of COVID-19 last season, a field of Canadian teams (and one American) returned to Whitby to battle for the best trophy in youth hockey, and memories of the good kind were made for all the participants.

Here is a look at how the four AAA age groups – U16, U14, U12 and U10 – played out last weekend at the prestigious tournament:

U16 Canada/15O U.S. AAA (2006)

The Toronto Jr. Canadiens are ranked No. 1 in Canada on the World Hockey Hub’s rankings, and after this past weekend’s performance, they will be staying at the top. They opened tournament play with a 1-0 nail-biter against the Waterloo Wolves on Nov. 25; the Jr. Canadiens’ offense exploded the next day, as they beat the Lambton Jr. Sting 7-2 and the York Simcoe Express 7-1. Saturday started with a 3-3 tie against the Niagara North Stars, before the Jr. Canadiens started elimination-round play with a 4-3 win over the Vaughan Kings in the quarterfinals.

On Sunday, they posted a convincing 4-0 win over the Ajax Pickering Raiders to secure a spot in the title game. There, it was a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2, as the Jr. Canadiens faced off against the Mississauga Senators. The Sens brought with them four of the five leading scorers in the tournament – William Moore (13 points), Caden Kelly (12), Michael Misa (12), and Malcom Spence (11) – but it didn’t matter, as the Jr. Canadiens skated to a 4-2 win and major bragging rights moving forward. 

Jack Van Volsen and Porter Martone led the Jr. Canadiens in scoring with 10 points apiece, while Antonio Tersigni had nine and Anthony Cristoforo and Micheal Hage both had eight. Paolo Frasca is listed as the starting netminder for all seven of the Jr. Canadiens’ games at Silver Stick, which means he registered a 6-0-1 record with a 1.64 goals-against average and two shutouts.

This age group offered a rare glimpse into how one of the top American teams stacks up against their Canadian counterparts this season, as the Bishop Kearney Selects sent a mix of their ’06 and ’07 players to Whitby – the only American participants in this Silver Stick tournament. The BK Selects beat the host Whitby Wildcats 4-1 on Thursday to start the tournament before tying the Thunder Bay Kings and losing to the Mississauga Senators 5-2 on Friday. They also beat the Huron Perth Lakers 6-3 on Saturday. 

U14 Canada/13U U.S. AAA (2008)

Much like the older age group, the No. 1-ranked team in the country took care of business in Whitby. The Vaughan Kings emerged victorious, and their final day at the tournament was a gauntlet of other ranked teams.

The Kings started with a 6-1 win over the Huron Perth Lakers on Thursday before a pair of ties on Friday — 4-4 against the Soo Greyhounds and 1-1 against the Ottawa 67’s. To wrap up the preliminary round, the Kings posted a 7-0 win over the Kingston Jr. Gaels in their lone game on Saturday. 

The quarterfinals, semifinals and final were all played Sunday, and they featured an impressive collection of top teams at the ’08 age group. First, the Kings battled the No. 4 Peterborough Petes to a 3-2 win. Then, they knocked off the No. 6 Jr. Canadiens 2-1. In the final, the Kings could breathe a little easier, as they topped the No. 8 Toronto Marlboros 4-1 to capture a Silver Stick banner and hardware. 

U12 Canada/11U U.S. AAA (2010)

While the two older age groups played out as expected, the 2010 age group introduced some surprises, with the Peterborough Petes taking it all. The No. 1-ranked Toronto Marlboros weren’t in attendance, but the rest of the World Hockey Hub’s Canadian Top-10 clubs were. That didn’t scare the Petes as they marched through the tournament en route to the Silver Stick. 

After recording a 2-2 tie in their tournament opener against the Gloucester Rangers, the Petes racked up six consecutive victories. They beat the Niagara North Stars 4-2 and then from there, the Petes won five games against ranked opponents in two days. On Saturday, they started with a 3-1 victory over the No. 8-ranked Brantford 99ers, and then they posted a 2-0 win over the No. 6 Sun County Panthers.

On Championship Sunday, Peterborough started with a 4-1 win over the No. 2-ranked Vaughan Kings in the quarterfinals, followed up with a 2-1 win over the No. 3 Markham Majors. In the final, the Petes bested the No. 7 Soo Jr. Greyhounds 4-1 to capture the title.

U10 Canada/9U U.S. AAA (2012)

The North York Rangers captured the youngest division at the Whitby Silver Stick, and to say they did so convincingly would be an understatement. They out-scored the competition 84-8 in a dominating weekend. To start things off, the Rangers posted a 17-2 win over the Oshawa Generals, and if that wasn’t enough to scare the rest of the field, they registered a mind-boggling 32-0 win over the Cumberland Jr. Grads in their first game on Friday. What did they do in their second game? Only a 9-1 victory over the Sun County Panthers.

On Saturday, the Rangers recorded a 9-3 win over the Oakville Rangers, storming into the elimination rounds with more than enough momentum. There, they shut out the London Jr. Knights 5-0 before beating the Mississauga Rebels 7-1 in the semifinals and the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs 5-1 in the final.

Five different players registered 20 points or more in the seven-game span for the Rangers in their dominating Silver Stick championship. 

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