With a 6-0 season record and a silver medal tournament performance, the Bantam Select Avalanche had every reason to be optimistic heading into a holiday tournament.
But the optimism soon turned sour after a disappointing 4-3 opening game loss to Coronation, which meant the team needed to win five in a row to secure the title.
Led by back-to-back shutouts from goaltenders Matthew Kong and Quentin DiBenedetto, the Avs captured the remaining opening round matches, including a 7-0 victory that featured two-point performances by Drew Mainprize, Aidan Muir, Mark Randazzo, Cameron Lavell and Marcus Earls. With winger Andrew Ciuffreda on vacation, the team relied on the remaining 13 skaters.
In the quarter-finals against Garden City, Ancaster struck early when Evan Mahon sent the puck to Quinn Ireland, who buried it behind the startled goaltender. Mitchell Hall and Connor Lalonde also added goals in the 5-1 victory.
In the semi-finals, Michael Ariemma’s two-point performance led the Avs to a thrilling 3-2 win over Brantford and a berth in the finals.
Facing Burlington in the championships, Ryan Cross opened the scoring on a great feed from Matthew Custeau. The goal proved to be the winner as the Avs won 4-0 to capture gold. David Wilson was named tournament MVP for his excellent work on defence.