With the holiday season coming to a close the fresh New Year had the Bantam 2 Hawks and Monarchs take to the ice to get the second half of the AAA season underway. With the Hawks and Monarchs coming into this game well rested from the break, it showed in the energy both teams had in the opening period of the game. The Monarchs were the first to strike just before the midway point of the period with a goal from Cole Kennedy. Just a few minutes later the Hawks were able to answer and tie the game up with a goal of their own thanks to Colson Smith. The period ends with the Monarchs and Hawks deadlocked at 1 goal apiece.
With the second period underway the teams continue to battle hard and build on the energy of the first period. The Monarchs were able to strike again at the beginning of the period with Rhett Marchant putting his team up 2-1. The Hawks caught a break and earned a power play five minutes into the period. Now up a man, the Hawks were able to make the most of the power play and tie the game up with a goal from Thomas Stewart. Just freshly back to even strength the Monarchs surge down the ice and Nathan Morrison scores to regain the lead. Both teams continue to battle for the remainder of the period creating chances for both teams but the period comes to a close with the Monarchs up by a score of 3-2.
Entering the third period down a goal the Hawks have some ground to make up but the Monarchs have another plan. Under a minute into the period the Hawks take a penalty sending the Monarchs to the power play. The Monarchs are able to capitalize and Grayson Burzynski puts one past Hawks goalie Evan Banera increasing their lead to two goals. Thirty seconds later the Monarchs are able to score again with Peter Magnus putting them up by a score of 5-2. With the Hawks now needing a goal to stay in the game they swarm the Monarchs end and are able to catch a break by getting a power play at the midway point of the period. Scoring on this power play is crucial for the Hawks to stay in the game and Tristen Arnason is able to find the back of the net making the score 5-3. With strong defensive play the Monarchs are able to keep the Hawks away from finding the back of the net in the remaining ten minutes. The game ends with the Monarchs defeating the Hawks by a score of 5-3.
On Thursday January 10th AAA Hockey held their annual All-star game press conference which showcased 6 players, 2 from each division, and served as the lead up event to the All-star day which was on January 12, 2019. The players that represented the divisions were Lukas Hansen and Peter Magnus who represented the Bantam 2 division, Jason Ruff and Jackson Sirrell to represent the Bantam 1 division and finally Rhonan White and Anton Uruski who represented the U17 Midget Prep league. Each of the players coaches wrote a short biography on them and their impact on the team this year which you can see below.
Team East - Lukas Hansen – Bantam II Warriors
Lukas Hansen is the captain of the b2 Winnipeg Warriors. He is what every coach wants in a player. A very high skill set, a great work ethic and a passion for the game that keeps him motivated and honest. He currently leads the league in goals with 15 goals through the first 18 games.
Team West - Peter Magnus – Bantam II Monarchs
Peter is an outstanding student athlete, and AAA teammate. Boosting the best shot in the league Peter is a danger to the opposition every time he touches a puck. Leading the Monarchs in goals (10) and third in points (19), number 10 has the ability to change a game at a moments notice. He is a wonderful teammate with amazing grads and attends the prestigious St. John’s Ravenscourt. The future is very bright for this young man.
Team East - Jason Ruff – Bantam I Monarchs
As the captain of the Bantam 1 AAA Monarchs Jason Ruff is a true leader on and off the ice.
On the ice the 6’1” rugged and skilled defensemen shows his leadership by controlling the play offensively and defensively. Offensively he anchors the power play and boasts an impressive 8 goals and 8 assists in 20 games. 5 on 5 he leads the team with a very impressive plus 35 ranking.
Jason’s leadership off the ice is second to none. He garners everyone’s respect and teammates feed off his positive attitude. Jason’s work ethic, skill set, and leadership makes him a very deserving candidate for the 2019 AAA Eastern All Star team.
Team East – Jackson Sirrell – Bantam I Sharks
Jackson is a great team player who is able to remain positive in all situations on and off the ice. This is truly shown with the respect that he gives to his fellow players as well as his coaches. Jacksons hockey sense, ability to see and make plays and his powerful shot has made him one of the elite players in the Bantam 1 division. Jackson is currently sitting at 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 total points this season.
Team East – Rhonan White – U17 Midget Prep Sharks
Rhonan is a big character player, in his 2nd year playing defense. He has the ability to make big plays, and is a competitor with a big heart. You can always find Rhonan smiling, and is always respectful with all his teammates and peers. He is currently sitting 3rd among league defence in scoring with 5 goals, 11 assists totalling 16 points. His great work continues beyond the rink and into school where he has 1st honors at MBCI School. Rhonan is a coach’s definition of a true captain.
Team West – Anton Uruski – U17 Midget Prep Monarchs
Anton is the Captain of the U17 Monarchs who plays a complete 200 ft game. His offensive abilities (6G-16A-22PTS) make him the 2nd ranked offensive defenseman in the U17 Midget Prep League behind only his line-mate Hayden Forrest.
Anton is a master of the first pass to break out of the zone and a keystone on the Monarchs Power Play and Penalty Kill units. Anton’s offensive skills, though impressive, are not solely what make him a great hockey player. The defensive side of his game is second to none in the league, and he does it all with an edge that has also earned him 54 PIM. Opposing players rarely even try to get by Anton in a 1 on 1 situation, and for this they cannot be blamed.
Take all of these qualities and add to it a natural affinity for leadership, and an unrivalled effort and compete level, and you get the ultimate defenseman and captain. One which any coach in the league would be ecstatic to have in their arsenal.
With the first half of the season coming to a close, the U17 Midget Prep Sharks took on the Warriors in a Holiday battle. Both teams came out wanting to wrap up their first half of the season with a win and set the tone for the upcoming second half. With the first period under way the Sharks start to control the possession and create chances at the Warriors net but the Warriors battle back and fend off the Sharks attempts. The Sharks were able to crack the Warriors defence with a goal from Alec Harney just before the half way point of the period. Still with a hot stick, not even a minute later the Sharks Alec Harney was able to get his second of the game and put the Sharks up 2-0. The Warriors tightened up their defensive zone play and were able to get a few chances of their own however none of their chances were able to beat the Warriors goalie Scott Thompson. The period ended with the Sharks up 2-0.
The second period began with the Sharks pushing to get another goal, creating many good scoring chances. The Sharks capitalized just over a minute in when the puck ended up on Alec Harney’s stick who put in his third goal of the night completing the hat trick. This goal put the Sharks up by a score of 3-0 and left the Warriors searching for a goal to keep them in the game. Both teams battled for the remainder of the period with the physicality picking up as the period drew to a close.
With the third period starting, the Warriors had to make up some ground on the Sharks to tie and possibly win the game. The Warriors came out with a new-found energy and started to control the play early on in the period. The Sharks were prepared for this and combatted the surge of offence by the Warriors with tight defence. Both teams battled hard and pushed for a goal. The period ended with the Sharks coming out victorious and beating the Warriors by a final score of 3-0.
The first place U17 Midget Prep Monarchs faced the Warriors on Tuesday December 11. With the first period just underway, the Monarchs set the tone for the rest of the period. Tag Plouffe from the Monarchs opened up the scoring less than two minutes in. The Monarchs didn’t stop there with James Hooton adding to his teams lead. Then, just past the midway point of the first period, the Monarchs Joey Bielik made it 3-0 for the Monarchs which is how the period ended.
With the Warriors down 3 goals heading into the second period they needed to act fast with a goal to keep the game close. The Warriors caught a break early on in the period with a man advantage and capitalized with Paison Butler scoring. With the lead narrowed to two goals, the Warriors didn’t wait long to cut the Monarchs lead again with Brandon Slobozian scoring at even strength. With momentum on their side, the Warriors were on the power play again and were able to convert once more with Connor Davies ripping one past Monarchs netminder Harrison Rogers. The period ended with both teams deadlocked at 3 goals apiece.
The Monarchs and Warriors each had a period that they dominated, so this game would be decided in the final 20 minutes. Just like the first period, the Monarchs controlled the play and got on the board first with Joey Bielik getting his second of the game and pulling his team ahead by a goal. Just minutes later the Monarchs struck again. This time the goal came off the stick of Declan Curtis. Play continued with the Monarchs swarming the Warriors net, creating lots of chances to score, then Guy Rosen found the back of the twine. In just a few minutes, the Monarchs took control of the game and had a commanding 6-3 lead over the Warriors. Just before the halfway point of the period, the Monarchs got a man advantage and their goal scoring barrage continued with a goal from Anton Uruski. The Monarchs, now running away with the game, scored one more goal from James Hooton who got his second goal of the night. This goal put the Monarchs up by a score of 8-3 over the Warriors which is how the game ended.