The Rapids Major Bantam AA 95ers team were recently invited to attend the Pickering Panthers Elite AA tournament in Toronto on the weekend of Nov. 6 to 8. The Rapids would earn their second consecutive tournament championship of the season. Two for two in a thrilling overtime win. In nine tournament games in total, the Rapids would lose only one contest. Once again, each player on the team would contribute and receive at least one point. The goalies did what they have been doing all year, stopping the puck when required. The highly regarded Panthers tournament opened with game one at the Don Beer multi-pad arena in Pickering Ontario and the Rapids would encounter the Peterborough Nationals AA team. The Peterborough team came to play hard and they scored the first goal of the contest with 1:47 remaining in the first period. James Edwardson, the Rapids’ netminder, faced a number of shorthanded plays, including three five-on-three penalty situations during the game, but he was able to totally frustrate the Peterborough team and not allow a power-play goal. The Rapids spent a total of 26 minutes in the “sin bin” during the game as opposed to only 12 minutes for the Nationals. With the assistance of the elite netminder, the Rapids put the penalty trouble behind them. Zack Sequin opened the scoring for the team assisted by Lawson MacDougall at 5:35 of the third period to tie the game. Ryan Dunbar scored the second goal and the eventual game winner at 7:44 of the third period. Ryan was assisted by linemates Shayne Flaro and Parker Krol. To provide an important insurance marker, Lawson MacDougall assisted by Blane MacKay scored at 11:41 of the third period. James Edwardson did the rest and he earned the game MVP in the process. The final score 3–1 for Seaway Valley Rapids. For their second game, the Rapids would meet a top rated ‘A’ team from Pickering. The Pickering Panthers A team would prove to be talented and determined and benefitted from exceptional goaltending. The Rapids team pounded the Panthers’ netminder and Derik Dionne assisted by Nick Lamarche would open the scoring at 3:14 of the first. Lawson MacDougall, assisted by Blane MacKay and Adam Hebert, would score the ultimate game winner early in the second period. Nick Lamarche would score at 8:21 of the third period with the support of Alex O’Reilly and Parker Kroll. The final Rapids’ goal would be scored with 3:18 minutes remaining in the game by Derik Dionne and assisted by Tanner Markell. The Rapids got a handle on the penalty situation with only six minutes in the penalty box for the game. The Panthers would eventually score with 1:53 remaining to spoil an almost-perfect game played by Alex Boileau in nets for the Rapids. Tanner Markell would earn the MVP for the game. The final score 4–1 for the Seaway Valley Rapids. The third game of the tournament would prove be a major challenge for the team where the Rapids would face the Pickering AA home team. The Panthers came to win and they scored three unanswered goals in the first period. James Edwardson, the Rapids’ netminder, was not feeling his best and pulled himself out of the action to see if that would energize the team. It almost worked, as the Rapids would played a better second period and Blane MacKay would score early in the period with an assist of Shayne Flaro. The Panthers added two goals in the third period and were thrilled with a win of 5–1. The Rapid would finish third period overall in the round-robin tournament play. Next up for the Rapids was a game against the highly rated Scarborough Bruins in the semi-final game. Jesse St. John of the Rapids assisted by Tanner Markell and Ryan Dunbar would open the scoring midway through the first period. However, at 1:12 of the second period the Bruins would score to tie the game. Nick Lamarche would score unassisted goal and the ultimate game winner at 6:03 of the second period. The defence, together with Alex Boileau, the Rapids netminder, hunkered down and shut down the Bruins for the rest of the game. Parker Kroll would earn the MVP for the game. The result of the semi-final game had Seaway Valley Rapids win 2–1. The Gloucester Rangers, a league rival, finished first overall in the tournament and they were defeated 4–1 in the semi-finals by the Pickering Panthers AA team. That loss would give the Rapids the opportunity for a rematch and they would meet the home team in the championship game. The Rapids then played the championship game versus the Pickering Panthers. The Panthers would open scoring at 3:56 of the first period. The Rapids would respond and counter late in the first period on a big goal from Cole Blanchard to tie the game up; the defenceman’s key goal was assisted by Joel Levac and Nick Lamarche. The Rapids were absolutely animated and Matthew Gregoire assisted by Tanner Markell scored at 4:41 in the second period to take the lead; however, the Panthers would counter on a power play and scramble in front of James Edwardson, the Rapids’ net minder, to tie the game up with 1:34 minutes remaining in the second period. The third period was scoreless and the goal keepers on both teams limited the game to a 2–2 tie in regulation. Sniper Ryan Dunbar overpowered and “picked the pocket” of the Panthers’ defence and went in to score the game winner, unassisted. The final score of the championship game saw the Rapids win 3–2. Each player, excluding the elite netminders, earned at least one point for the tournament. The MVP for tournament and overall point leader with 2 goals and 2 assists was Nick Lamarche.
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