Varsity U16 & U18 Hockey Teams Playoff in ECEL Vaughn Showcase October 20-23, 2016
This past week, the U16 and U18 varsity teams participated in the ECEL “Canadian Classic Showcase” tournament, hosted by The Hill Academy in Vaughn, Ontario. It was the second of four ECEL showcase tournaments on this years schedule.
Both teams began the tournament early Thursday morning against team Maryland U16 and U18 programs, respectively. Our U18 team got off to a fast start with a goal from big left winger Alexandre Provost-Ross on the first shift of the game. Despite heavily outshooting the opposition, the game was tied 1-1 after the first (of two) period. The second period was a different story as our boys took some undisciplined penalties and were outplayed, eventually falling 4-1. Our U16 team played a fantastic game and carried the play for the majority of time, but could not solve the team Maryland goaltender and lost 1-0, despite a solid effort from goaltender Alexandre Levesque.
The two teams returned to the beautiful Sports Village complex for their second games on Thursday afternoon. The U16 team matched up against a tough opponent from Elite Hockey Academy. Despite goals from William Neault and Noah Adams, the boys never found their true stride and fell 6-2. The U18 team’s afternoon matchup was with familiar foe Le Sommet. An exciting, back and forth game would eventually wind up as a 3-2 victory for Newbridge in a shootout. Jackson Thomas and Jacob Roberts were the goal scorers, while Christophe Bohemier and Ashton Paul both scored in the shootout. Avery Heath was named game MVP, having played extremely well in nets, stopping 24 shots in regulation and both shootout attempts.
After a great team meal and an evening full of study hall, both teams came ready to play Friday morning. The U16 team rebounded well and dominated a very talented Boston Shamrocks team. It was a full team effort for both periods. Team captain Kaleb Boudreau got the team on the board early in the first period and alternate captain, Christopher Piche, added the final two goals en route to a 3-1 victory. Goaltender Duncan Nichols-Delay was fantastic between the pipes in the win. At the same time on a separate ice surface, the U18 team matched up with an extremely tough Boston Jr. Rangers team. It was a high-skill affair, with both team trading chances throughout the game. The Rangers capitalized on their chances in the first period while Newbridge did not, finding themselves down 3-0 at the break. Determined to finish the tournament on a high note, the boys came roaring back in the second to force another shootout; goal scorers were Olivier Gauthier, John Farrell, Mathieu Blanchard, and Jackson Thomas. Christophe Bohemier and Blanchard added shootout markers. Thomson Phinney was tough down the stretch, and unbeatable in the shootout en route to the 5-4 comeback win. Blanchard was named game MVP.
The final game of the tournament was a U16 matchup with the host team and defending ECEL league champion Hill Academy. The atmosphere was fantastic as students and scouts filled the stands. Despite playing the crowd favourite, the Newbridge boys put forth a fantastic effort. They traded chances throughout the game, catching iron a few times late. The team overall team defence was superb, led by another stellar performance by goaltender Alexandre Levesque. The team emptied the tank and left nothing on the ice, and cannot wait to get a rematch with the powerhouse Hill team.
Overall, coach Anthony and coach Filion were pleased with their teams this weekend. Both U16 and U18 continue to make positive steps in the right direction, and are consistently competing with some of the top teams in the continent. Paddy Flynn, Director of Varsity Programs commented on the noteworthy progress made so far: “It’s apparent that we are improving every time we go to showcases. It is really a testament to our coaches preparing players for this high level of a game.”