The Huron-Perth Laker AAA Bantam hockey club travelled to Sudbury this past weekend to play in the invitational Big Nickel Major AAA Hockey Tournament featuring 25 of the top Bantam hockey teams in North America.
The Lakers had a very successful tournament gaining 3 wins and 1 loss in the round-robin portion of the tournament finishing in the top eight teams of the tournament to advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament. The Lakers suffered their second loss of the tournament in the play-off round which eliminated them from the tournament.
Game #1 (Nov 2/06) - The Lakers started the tournament against the #1 ranked team in North America, Toronto's Jr. Canadiens, and played a very disciplined game losing a tight game 4-3 to a strong Jr. Canadien team. Jr. Canadien coach Dan Cameron commended the Laker squad after the game indicating that the Lakers were the toughest opponent they had played all year.
Game #2 (Nov 3/06) - The Lakers 2nd game of the tournament was against the Onaping Falls Huskies, a regional select team from the Sudbury area, with Huron-Perth earning a 4-3 victory.
Game #3 (Nov 3/06) - The Lakers played their second game of the day against the Gloucester Rangers and battled hard earning a 4-2 win.
Game # 4 (Nov 4/06) - The Huron-Perth team faced the Markham Waxers in game 4 of the tournament and came away with a 2-1 win in a defensive battle.
Game #5 (Nov 4/06) - The Lakers were matched up with the Toronto Marlies in game # 5 of the tournament after finishing in the top eight of the 25 teams in the tournament. The Lakers took an early lead in the 1st period and the Marlies battled back to tie the game at the end of the first period. Both teams went scoreless in the second period and fought hard in the 3rd period before Toronto capitalized on 2 scoring chances in the 3rd period. Huron-Perth conceded a 3-1 loss to the strong defensive Marlie team. Former Toronto Maple Leaf player Steve Thomas and current coach of the Toronto Marlie team praised the Huron-Perth team at the completion of the game as the hardest-working team that his team had faced all year.
Huron-Perth captain Tyler Bryson (Exeter) commended his team-mates on an exciting weekend of hockey.
"This tournament attracts the top teams in North America to it and we proved this weekend that we deserve to be included in that elite group of teams. Everybody on our team rose to the level of competition that we were playing, playing hard and sticking to the systems that we have been practicing all year. If every player on this team gives 100% effort every shift, every game, we are able to compete with any team that we play. We pride ourselves on always being the hardest working team on the ice and this weekend we were."
The only 2 teams to beat the Huron-Perth Lakers at this tournament both ended up in the Championship game with the Jr. Canadiens defeating the Toronto Marlies 1-0 in the final game of the tournament.