Marlboros, Flyers, Mid-Fairfield and Little Caesars split championships between U.S. and Canadian teams
The International Silver Stick finals in Whitby, Ontario, CAN., brought together a remarkable collection of youth hockey talent for its four age groups. It is one of the longest standing and most iconic youth hockey tournaments in all of North America. After this weekend, four teams — two from Canada and two from the U.S. — were able to add their names to the history books.
Toronto Marlboros Take 2007 Division
The field for the 2007-born teams at Whitby was incredibly deep, but in the end, it played out as the rankings indicated it would. In the tournament finale, it was the Toronto Marlboros, ranked No. 1 in Canada and No. 17 in the world, taking on the Bishop Kearney Selects, ranked No. 2 in the United States and No. 5 in the world. The Marlboros took advantage of the opportunity to make a world-wide statement, defeating their American foes 4-1 to win the prestigious Silver Stick and cap off a perfect trip to Whitby.
In an age group featuring 11 ranked teams in their respective countries, it was a battle each and every game for the Marlboros — and they got some help along the way, too. Toronto started with a 5-0 win over the Huron-Perth Lakers, followed by 9-1 and 5-2 wins over the Niagara North Stars and Barrie Colts, respectively. They wrapped up preliminary-round play with a 7-4 win over the Central Ontario Wolves in the Marlboros’ last game against unranked competition.
Things got a lot more interesting in the quarterfinals, as the No. 1 ranked Marlboros found themselves sharing the ice with the No. 4 ranked Mississauga Rebels. The Marlboros prevailed 4-2, securing another Top-10 showdown with the No. 8 Southern Tier Admirals in the semifinals.
There, it was a nailbiter, as the Marlboros eventually prevailed 3-2 for their date with the BK Selects.
Top-10 Matchups Between U.S., Canadian Clubs
Bishop Kearney’s route to the finals featured a few Top-10 showdowns, as well. They took down the No. 10 ranked Halton Hurricanes in their last round-robin contest before beating the No. 7 Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the semifinals.
The Jr. Canadiens had been responsible for the London Jr. Knights’ early exit. The No. 4-ranked Knights were bounced in the quarters by the Jr. Habs in 5-0 shutout fashion.
Meanwhile, it was the Toronto Young Nationals recording a perfect 4-0-0 record in preliminary-round play that caused chaos for some of the top-ranked teams. They started the Silver Stick tournament with a 2-1 win over the No. 3 ranked Don Mills Flyers which eventually led to Don Mills not making it to the elimination rounds. The Young Nationals did the same to No. 6 York Simcoe Express.
Meanwhile, the Marlboros are carrying their Silver Stick back to Toronto while surely moving up in the worldwide rankings after surviving the Whitby gauntlet. The four top scorers in the Silver Stick tournament all suited up for the Marlboros — Lev Katzin had 13 points in seven games, while William Moore had 12, Aidan Lane and Matheas Stark finished with 11 apiece.
Cooper Dennis recorded 11 points in seven games for the Bishop Kearney Selects, while Joshua Avery registered nine points in only five games. Even more impressive was Ryan Roobroeck hitting the nine-point mark in only four contests.
Don Mills Flyers Dominate ’09 Division
It was another battle of ranked clubs from two different countries in the finals of the 2009 division at the Whitby Silver Stick. Once again, the Canadians got it done, this time with the Don Mills Flyers beating Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 2-1.
Don Mills entered the tournament the favorite, as they are currently ranked No. 1 in Canada and No. 5 in the world by the World Hockey Hub. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, checked in at No. 10 in the U.S. rankings.
It was another stacked tournament field, as seven of Canada’s top 10 teams in the birth year made the trip to Whitby. Additionally, two ranked American programs in Pittsburgh and the No. 8 Mid Fairfield Jr. Rangers.
The final was actually a rematch of the preliminary round, as Don Mills and Pittsburgh were the two top teams in Group 5. In that contest, the Flyers blanked Pittsburgh 5-0.
That also ended up being the only ranked opponent for the Flyers in their run to the final. They took care of the North York Rangers 3-1 in the quarterfinals and Huron-Perth Lakers 2-0 in the semifinals.
The Lakers took down the No. 8 Toronto Marlboros in preliminary-round play, and in the quarterfinals, they eliminated No. 10 Ottawa Myers Automotive with a 3-1 victory.
The No. 4 ranked Sun County Panthers ran into trouble in the round robin, falling to the No. 6 Toronto Titans 3-0 in their first game, and the unranked Niagara North Stars 5-3 later in the same day.
Meanwhile, Pens Elite were responsible for bouncing the No. 2 ranked team in all of Canada, as they beat the Toronto Jr. Canadiens 3-2 in the semifinals before running into Don Mills for the finale.
Mid-Fairfield Makes its way to the 2011 Championship
Another cross-country showdown between highly ranked squads, but this time, the Americans won. In the 2011 title game at Whitby Silver Stick, it was Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, ranked No. 2 in the U.S., beating the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, ranked No. 1 worldwide and in Canada, by a final score of 4-2.
The two programs highlighted a field that featured the No. 1 ranked teams in both the U.S. (Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) and Canada (Jr. Canadiens). Four top-five teams from Canada were competing, with the Elgin-Middlesex Canucks, Vaughan Kings and Oakville Rangers joining the Jr. Canadiens. Three top-five teams from the U.S. crossed the border for the tournament, as well, in the Penguins, Mid-Fairfield and No. 4 ranked Chicago Reapers.
The Path To Silver Stick History
The Jr. Rangers had a challenging path to their Silver Stick title, as they started with a 5-4 win over the No. 5 ranked Oakville Rangers. They dropped their second game of the tournament, however, losing 2-1 to the Quinte Red Devils.
Mid-Fairfield bounced back with a huge 2-1 win over the No. 3 Vaughan Kings on Saturday morning, however, and they wrapped up preliminary-round play with a 2-1 win over York Simcoe Express.
In the quarterfinals, they took care of American foe Little Caesars 5-1. That led to back-to-back games with teams ranked No. 1 in their respective countries. Mid-Fairfield beat the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 4-3 in the semifinals before the aforementioned 4-2 win over the Jr. Canadiens in the final.
Little Caesars Adds Another Silver Stick Championship
Little Caesars prevailed in the title game of the 2013 birth year, as they won an All-American battle with Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, 7-3.
Little Caesars dominated from start to finish in their run to the youngest Whitby Silver Stick division title. On Day 1, they recorded 10-0 and 11-3 wins over the Elgin-Middlesex Canucks and Oakville Rangers, respectively.
The next day, they beat the South Shore Kings 6-1 and the Toronto Young Nationals 7-2.
In the elimination rounds, it was more routs. Caesars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 8-0 in the quarterfinals, the Toronto Jr. Canadiens 7-3 in the semifinals, and Mid-Fairfield 7-3 in the final.