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- Created: Friday, 18 January 2019 15:13
Qualifiers Group A
Top players: Lawson Sherk, Ethan Burroughs, Jordan Adams, Brennan Kennedy, Calum Chau, Thomas Viveiros, Josh Vagenas, Matteo Drobac, Braedyn McIntosh
Halton has gone on a stellar run to close out the SCTA regular season and fought close with Niagara to the very end to come out on top. The Hurricanes play a likable brand of hockey with a strong core group, and noticeable frontrunners in Sherk and Burroughs, who bring smarts and execution to all areas of the ice. With the forward group in place, the success of this team will ultimately come down to the contribution from the backend and between the pipes. Drobac and McIntosh fight for the title of top goalie tandem in the region, and if production comes from Chau, Vagenas and the rest of the defensive core, the potential to make a run is very much real.
Niagara North Stars
Top players: Matteo Giampa, Nathan Zadorozny, Parker Hendsbee, Liam Shewdyk, TRent Swick (2004), Connor Federkow, Macgregor Armstrong, Owen Faris
Niagara held the position of the top team in the SCTA for much of the season but were pushed from the podium by the determined Halton Hurricanes. The stage is now set for the North Stars response. Very much a team effort, this team holds all of their players accountable and rely on production from all lines. The strength of this team is their two-way play with Hendsbee and Federkow leading the way for the forward and defence cores respectfully. However, the team will only go as far as the top line of Zadorozny, Swick and Giampa lead them. Watch for the line to create offensive zone spacing and turn up the heat as they look to lead the resurgence effort.
Top players: Adam O’Marra, Brett Cowen, James Jodin, Owen Wilson, Noah Pak
Despite finishing 8th in the SCTA the Oakville Rangers are a tough team to play at times. The pesky top line, anchored by the stellar situational awareness of Adam O’Marra, is unpredictable and can produce if not taken seriously. Noah Pak is a strong candidate to steal some games and is a calming presence and technical-heavy backstop in the Oakville net. The real standout of their system comes in the form of two big defencemen in Owen Wilson and James Jodion. Although very different in their styles, they bring a unique blend of puck moving, offensive ability and defensive prowess and will be vital in turning the tides on the Rangers lower-standing finish.
Top players: Joseph Blackley, Jared Mangan, Dominic Cassillo, Konrad Walberger, Cameron Kuntar
The Regals have had a rough year to this point, but are in no way an easy out. Starting off the season with a tie against the Toronto Marlboros in tournament play, the Regals can catch people off-guard. Heavily reliant on their three-man system of Blackley, Mangan, and goaltender Cameron Kuntar, the three players all are less impactful physically with smaller frames but they can make you pay through their technicalities, effort and natural ability. Dominic Cassillo is another shifty forward in the Buffalo arsenal and his 27 goals on the season show you just what this team is capable of. Although in tough, look for them to bring their top level to these games and attempt to turn their season around.
Top players: Andrew Whitton, Curtis Henderson, Eric Viveiros, Gaven Martin, Cameron Pack
Brampton had a tough finish to the season going winless in their last 10 games. Despite the results, some ability is present on this squad. Whitton and Henderson are two forwards who look to carry on the rush and possess the smarts and natural craft to find the back of the net quickly. Martin and Pack add an element of surprise and unpredictability from the back-end and will attempt to catch the opposition sleeping. The 45s face an uphill battle but have the ability to steal a few games if they can get the bounces.
Qualifiers Group B
Top players: Ty Anselmini, Dylan Richardson,Mark McIntosh, Henry Turner, Jackson Phillips, Ethan Broderick, Ryan Cook
The running theme for Guelph teams are offence and the Gryphons bring just that. Anselmini, McIntosh, Richardson, Turner, the list goes on of guys that can create and execute with the puck. The x-factor of this lineup is rangy winger Dylan Richardson who has held a steady pace throughout this season. Unlike many wingers in the area, he is a big body and pays attention to the technical areas of the game thus improving the entire output of his team. With the ability to go off at any minute, the time is now to see the full extent of his skill set and it will be vital in determining how far this Guelph team goes.
Hamilton Jr Bulldogs
Top players: Jacob Maillet, Colin MacDougall, Johnny Brace, Jacob Craft, David Palmer, Cameron Gauvreau, Zach Ladd, Nolan Verardo, Kyle Schoeftner
Hamilton endured a season of great games and some down efforts but are ready to put their best foot forward. They have the regions top player in well-rounded center Jacob Maillet and have a well-built collection of players around him who compliment each other in various areas of the game. What separates this team from many in the SCTA is the backend where they showcase two capable puck-moving defenders in Cameron Gauvreau and partner David Palmer. While both produce a similar product, their approaches are very different making for a very unpredictable pairing. If they can create separation and aid the forward group, and Verardo can hold down the fort, this team will be a tough matchup for anyone.
Top players: Josh Ziliotto, Ben Felicetti, Wesley Persusini, Oliver Peer, Chase Costantino, Luke Finelli
The time is now for Burlington to show people what they've got. Missing some top players for parts of the season, the Eagles will look to put forth their best lineup and will need their top guys to step up. Ziliotto and Felicetti are the offensive leaders and offer an immense amount of pucks skills and drive. Hard-working forward Oliver Peer is going to be a vital part of their overall success as he can set the pace in both ends of the ice. If all three players can provide and goaltender Luke Finelli can bring his best effort consistently, they have a chance to hang in some tough games.
Southern Tier Admirals
Top players: Blake Hall, Griffin Vaughan, Josh Reilly, Nicholas Paone, Ben Bonisteel
The Southern Tier Admirals are a team with a lot of intriguing prospects. Up front, Blake Hall represents a unique player with his short passing game and offensive IQ. Coinciding with a run-and-gun shooter in Griffin Vaughan, it makes for a nice 1-2 punch and one that can generate some offence. On the blueline, the pairing of Paone and Reilly offer stability along with puck moving and shooting capabilities. With the prospects to win some games, the ultimate result will lie on the shoulders of starter Ben Bonisteel. A big body and aggressive on his angles, he can keep pucks out but will have to bring his top game, as will the rest of this Admirals team to advance in the SCTA.
Top Players: Aidan Yarde, Wilson Shipp, Aidan Hinsperger, Eddie Maclean, Kieran Moore, Luke Eurig, Carter Garvie
After finishing with a league-high 10 ties, the Highlanders have shown the ability to stay in games. With a hard-working group of forwards and reliable defenders, the teams play a simple game and attempt to capitalize on the opposition’s mistakes. Aidan Yarde is a wildcard scorer who has a knack for executing in transition with a sniper’s mentality and release. If the past few years have taught us anything, you should not count out Grey-Bruce and they will look to take advantage of their middle tier group and fight their way to the OMHAs.