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Another Jr Sons tournament triumph decided in overtime
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Lopsided wins might be confidence but it was the ability to pull out a victory in the close ones that served the Nickel City U11 AA Jr Sons particularly well last weekend, returning home as champions after competing in the Mary Parkinson Memorial AA Tournament in Richmond Hill.
A two-goal effort for Jonny Croome helped lift the Jr Sons to a 3-2 opening game triumph over the Halton Hills Thunder, with André Beaudry capping off the scoring and netminder Brayden Bouillon coming through with the key saves, when needed.
From there, the floodgates bursted wide open, offensively speaking, for the Nickel City squad.
Posting back to back shutouts over the Northumberland Night Hawks (6-0) and Caldeon Hawks (10-0), the U11 reps received contributions from right across the roster, most notably in the scoring parade: Koewan Cooper (3), Cameron Roy (2), Myles Talbot (2), Jonny Croome (2), Alex Carriere, Tyler Boivin, Max Thompson, Blake Dubois, Kaleb Pitre, William Ranger, André Beaudry – all one goal each.
Looking a little tired (according to the coaches) and facing likely their stiffest test to date, Nickel City pulled out a 2-2 tie with the TNT Tornadoes thanks to a late goal from Kaleb Pitre, with Koewan Cooper opening the scoring for the Sons.
The win not only clinched first place in their pool but also matched the Sons opposite a very familiar foe. Three quick goals (André Beaudry, Cameron Roy, Coen Chrétien) and the second shutout of the weekend for Brayden Bouillon propelled coach Joey Talbot and company to a 3-0 whitewashing of the Copper Cliff Reds in an all-NOHA semi-final affair.
Naturally, the Jr Sons circled right back to where they started, the Halton Hills Thunder awaiting them in the championship final. A tentative start would see the locals trailing 2-0 before turning things around, literally one shift at a time.
The Nickel City lads were rewarded for their perseverance as Cooper banked a shot off the Thunder goalie, with Talbot drawing the assist. A breakaway tally from André Beaudry left the teams deadlocked at 2-2 heading to the third.
Despite killing off the bulk of a double minor head contact infraction in the third, the Jr Sons were victimized for a go-ahead Halton Hills’ goal, before Blake Dubois forced overtime thanks to a lucky break, his long dump-in finding its way through the smallest of holes, into the back of the net.
Three on three at this age seldom lasts long and this one was no different as a nifty pokecheck from Beaudry sprung Croome and Talbot on a two on one, the pair converting to perfection as the Nickel City Jr Sons pulled out a hard fought 3-2 win.
Rounding out the U11 AA Jr Sons roster are goaltender Carter Deschenes and defensemen Callum St Jean, Marc Corson and Reid Bentley.
The team staff includes Joey Talbot, Yves Beaudry, Scott Cooper, Brad Croome, Casey Thompson, Cody Hall and Dylan Williams.
Sure, the Nickel City U12 AA Jr Sons would have dearly loved to capture the NOHA Tournament of Champions a few weeks back in Timmins.
With their record of 0-1-3, the Jr Sons were competitive enough to find themselves in the Sunday morning semis, eliminated by the host team by a final count of 3-1.
Yet talk to coaches and players alike and it’s clear that the Nickel City folks are more than a little pleased with everything that was accomplished during their three day stint in the home of Shania Twain.
Much of that is likely linked to the total of $2,655 that was raised by the four tournament entries combined, a fundraising effort that was based on an earlier initiative spearheaded by the Sudbury U15 A Lady Wolves team, all surrounding a desire to find a way to offer help to all of those affected by the current war in the Ukraine.
“We thought it was a great idea, not only for us to do it as a team, but to expand and see if the other teams in our division would accept the challenge of raising money for a good cause,” said Jr Sons head coach Kevin O’Shaughnessy.
“It started off with Pam (team parent Pam Therrien) – that’s how it came about.”
Given the assortment of 11 and 12 year old grade six students on the team, O’Shaughnessy acknowledged that there were many potential benefits to this initiative, including athlete education.
“We had a little session with the boys before one of our practices, just to talk a little bit about what was going on in the Ukraine,” he said. “It’s good for them to know what was going on.”
Despite their youth, the importance of their work was not lost in the least on the local lads. “You want to put yourself in other people’s shoes to try and help them out,” said Ethan Farquharson, a student at Immaculate Conception in Val Caron.
“They will know that other countries are praying for them, helping them out a little bit so that maybe one day, they can go back to school and leave the war safely.”
With a bit of a head start on the home front, right winger/defense hybrid Logan O’Shaughnessy is beginning to garner a little historical perspective, even as current events unfold half a world away.
“In the nineties, Russia was Soviet Union and then they became a whole bunch of little countries,” he said. “When the coaches talked to us, I thought about my family and tried to put myself in their position.”
“There is no hockey in the middle of a war.”
In order to captivate the entire team with this fundraiser, the Nickel City crew opted to have families commit to a certain donated amount based on every goal that the team scored in Timmins, with the understanding that the pledges were based on whatever folks could afford.
With that in mind and looking to up the ante, the Jr Sons needed contributions right across their entire roster on the ice, including from the young man who took one for the team, tackling a new position all while tapping into the skills he had developed in previous years.
“I like forward better (than defense), but this was still good,” said Logan O’Shaughnessy. “I can use my speed in a different way; like if I pinch and a guy goes wide on me, then I can still catch up with him.”
A centreman by trade, Lennox Therrien can relate to the need for quick feet as he works on playing a 200-foot game. “I’m always on the puck, using my speed to get all over the place,” he said. “I always try and have my head up, looking for my teammates.”
A sentiment which extends off the ice, as Therrien and his teammates demonstrate a concern for others. “I feel bad and wish that they (the people in the Ukraine) were in my position, with family and friends and a school that I can go to safely.”
The remainder of the Nickel City U12 AA Jr Sons roster, all of whom pitched in, includes Noah Barriault, Luc Belanger, Luca Boucher, Connor Lemaire, Merik Maillet, Bryston Nixon, Nicholas Paquette, Alex Proulx, Josh Ruppel, Luca Seguin, Braeden Thibault, Dean Vildis, Dylan Villeneuve and Sam Whitney.
Assisting Kevin O’Shaughnessy with staff duties are assistant coaches Rod Paquette, Gilles Thibault, Ryan Proulx, Rob Belanger, JF Boucher and Ken Ruppel and team manager Valerie Villeneuve.
A championship triumph these Sharks will not soon forget
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Maybe it’s time for a sequel to Miracle on Ice, the movie that captured the improbable gold medal run of Team USA at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.
The 2021-2022 Nickel City U13 A Sharks could certainly make a case for their script, given their stunning NOHA Tournament of Champions showing in New Liskeard last weekend.
Certainly, the Sharks were were more than competitive against most of the eight team field, witnessed by day one victories over both the Manitoulin Panthers (2-1) and Kapuskasing Icehawks (4-2) as goaltenders Jacob Beaudet and Amelie Gervais backstopped the locals, facing plenty of rubber along the way.
But as is so often the case in “A” hockey in the north, all it takes is a couple of AA/AAA talents from smaller centres to tip the scales in their favour, with the Sharks dropping a 9-1 decision to the Cochrane Cubs to start day two but bouncing back nicely with a 1-1 tie with the Copper Cliff Reds, enough to earn the team a semi-final berth opposite the undefeated host team, the Temiskaming Shores Puckhounds.
In racking up four straight wins, the Tri-Towns crew had outscored their opponents 29-4, with few folks on hand giving the Sharks much of a chance at all of advancing to play for gold.
But with Beaudet sparkling between the pipes and his teammates providing the necessary offense, Nickel City blanked Temiskaming Shores 3-0, punching their ticket both to the NOHA finals and also to the OHF Championships later this month, with the event set to take place in Cochrane.
The Sharks mounted all of their offense in the third period of play, with Max Jouppi scoring twice and Joseph Leduc adding the other.
Still, the playoff upset understandably drained the Sudbury area crew emotionally, trailing the Cochrane Cubs 3-1 with two minutes to play in the final, with only Carter Ellsworth finding the back of the net for Nickel City.
Cue the inspirational speech by from Herb Brooks of Team USA.
Digging deep, the Sharks somehow managed to pull even on goals from Zachary Arsenault and Evan Ouimet, sending the game to overtime where Max Jouppi buried the game-winning tally, capping off a Cinderella story like few others seen in these parts for quite some time.
The 2021-2022 NOHA Champion Nickel City U13 A Sharks team boasts a roster of Kayden Tonin, Andrew Michaud, Joseph Leduc, Adrian Cecchetto, Jackson Bentley, Jordyn Hampel, Evan Ouimet, Dawson Dumont, Kale St-Onge, Carter Ellsworth, Zachary Arsenault, Lowell Huskinson, Gregory Patrie, Lucas Rocca, Max Jouppi and goaltenders Jacob Beaudet and Amelie Gervais.
The team coaching staff includes Steven Fraser, Andre Leduc, Jake Jouppi, Yves Gervais, Scott Bentley and goalie coach Emily O’Bright.
The Sharks will now join the Cochrane Cubs as well as representatives from the GTHL (Greater Toronto Hockey League), the OMHA (Ontario Minor Hockey Association) and Alliance Hockey (southwestern Ontario), battling it out at the Tim Horton Events Centre on the weekend of April 22nd to the 24th.
Game info for Sharks vs Temiskaming Shores Puckhounds:
Game info for Sharks vs Cochrane Cubs:
Congrats to the U13A Sharks for winning the Tournament of Champions next stop OHF in Cochrane.
March 31st, 2022
For Immediate Release
Nickel City Hockey Association (NCHA) U12 AA Jr Sons join forces with other U12 teams to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross.
Inspired by the Sudbury Lady Wolves (SLW) U15 A team, Nickel City Hockey Association (NCHA) U12 AA Jr Sons started their own fundraising campaign to raise money for those tragically affected by the catastrophic attacks happening in the Ukraine.
In March at the Tournament of Champions (TOC) held in Timmins, the U12 AA JR Sons challenged other teams in their division to donate money for goals they scored during the tournament. For every goal scored, that team asked their families to donate an amount of their choosing. The money raised went to the Canadian Red Cross and their Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal efforts.
“We have an amazing group of players and families, and this fundraising campaign is proof of that. The players rallied and as a team we were able to raise almost $1200.00! I want to thank the other teams in our division for taking part as well. This just goes to show what our hockey community can do when we come together," said Kevin O’Shaughnessy, Head Coach, U12 AA Jr Sons.
Lennox Therrien, player for the U12 AA Jr Sons adds, “We just wanted to do something to help. When Coach Kevin brought up the idea, we wanted to score as many goals as we could. After the parents gave their donations, most of the players put some of their own money in too.”
The U12 AA division at the TOC raised a total of $2,655.00!
The team encourages other families and teams to donate, if they are able, to their charity of choice.
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Manager, U12 AA Jr Sons