The development of an elite hockey team

The development of an elite hockey team

Ron Belmore, together with his faithful assistant coaches Paul Bowen, Steve Giroux and Jason Leduc, have been coaching minor hockey in the Cornwall area for many years. Recently, they had a vision to assemble an elite team at the Major Bantam AA level and together they set out the process in January 2009 scouting players and various teams throughout Eastern Ontario. As the 2009–2010 minor hockey season approached, head coach Belmore and company invited eligible and qualified prospects to camp and empowered independent valuators and advisors to assist in assembling the team. The net result is the Seaway Valley Rapids Major Bantam AA team. In hockey terms, all the coaches are “non-parents” and without any children of their own on the team. They volunteer their time and expertise. They spend hours of time and offer their in-depth hockey knowledge and experiences. Coach Belmore promised the players and their parents a fast paced and exciting season. The upcoming season is full of promise and is well organized with a number of challenging exhibition games, professional off-ice training with Jeff Gibbs, 31 regular-season games in a 10-team league together with five AA tournaments and hopefully a successful post-season. Ron Belmore says, “We will endeavor to develop our players by challenging them mentally and physically. Team chemistry is important and our primary objective is to promote a wonderful hockey experience and to develop boys into fine young men on and off the ice.” The elite AA Major Bantam team is comprised of local boys born in 1995 (14 years old) with eight players from South Stormont Township including Cole Blanchard (defence), Ryan Dunbar (forward), Matthew Gregoire (forward), Adam Hebert (defence), Parker Krol (defence), Nicholas Lamarche (forward), Joel Levac (centre), and Tanner Markell (defence) together with six players from the City of Cornwall including Alex Boileau (goalie), Derik Dionne (forward), Shayne Flaro (forward), Alex O’Reilly (defence), Zack Seguin (centre) and Jesse St. John (forward) with four players from South Glengarry Township, including Blain MacKay (forward), Lawson MacDougall (centre), Jordan Sangster (defence) and James Edwardson (goalie). The team is off to a wonderful start of the season with three solid wins and one loss in their exhibition series with 28 goals for and 17 goals against. This hockey season is promising and the bar has been set high. The Seaway Valley Rapids Major Bantam AA team, together with Head Coach Ron Belmore, assistant coaches Paul Bowen, Steve Giroux and Jason Leduc, have the support of the players and their parents and they all look forward to the 2009–2010 hockey season and the challenges ahead.

Seaway Valley Rapids Major Bantam AA win gold in Orangeville–

Recently, the Seaway Valley Rapids Major Bantam AA team entered their first tournament of the year and went into the championship game undefeated. Amazingly, the only players who did not receive a goal or an assist in the tourney were the goalies and they earned an impressive 1.25 goals against average. All 16 players earned a goal or an assist. The team commenced the tournament on Friday Sept. 18, 2009 at 6 p.m. at the Tony Rose Memorial Center against Orangeville, the hometown team and favourite. In a very physical game, the Seaway Valley team earned an impressive 4–1 victory with goals from Ryan Dunbar, Nicolas Lamarche, Blain MacKay and Zack Seguin. The goals were assisted by Adam Hebert, Joel Levac, Derik Dionne, Jesse St. John, Jordan Sangster, Ryan Dunbar, Nicolas Lamarche and Alex O’Reilly. The Rapids’ solid defence, together with James Edwardson between the pipes, frustrated and held the AA Orangeville Bantam team to just one goal. On Saturday morning the Seaway Valley Rapids played their second game of the tournament against a very talented and highly rated AA team from Brantford Ontario. The Rapids played hard and were leading a close game 3–2 late in the third period with 2 goals from Zack Seguin, and a goal from Blain MacKay. As Brantford pressed, Lawson MacDougall topped off the game with an empty-net goal late in the third period to give the Rapids a 4–2win. Nicholas Lamarche, Derik Dionne, Parker Krol, Zack Sequin, Lawson MacDougall, Cole Blanchard and Blain MacKay (2) assisted on the 4 goals and Alex Boileau turned away all the shots but two. The third game of the tourney was on Saturday afternoon against a very tough and physical AA team from Flamborough, Ontario. The Rapids controlled the play of the Flamborough Sabres and earned their third straight win 3–1. Matthew Gregoire scored one goal and Zack Seguin scored two. Nicholas Lamarche, Derik Dionne, Parker Krol, Lawson MacDougall, Shayne Flaro and Joel Levac assisted on the goals. James Edwardson was solid in net and held the Sabers to just one goal. The win earned the Seaway Valley Rapids first place in the tournament and they were guaranteed top billing in the highly anticipated Sunday final. The second team overall and the winner of the semi-final game were the Brantford 99ers (Wayne Gretzky alumni). The Brantford AA team would prove to be the greatest challenge for the Rapids on the weekend. The opening goal was scored by Tanner Markell of the Rapids and the 99ers replied within minutes to tie the game. The game winner was scored by Jesse St. John and an insurance goal was scored by Zack Seguin. All the scoring took place in the first period and the Rapids’ defence and goalie did the rest. As it turned out, Zack Sequin was the top points earner of the tournament with 6 goals and an assist for 7 total points. Once again, Nicholas Lamarche, Tanner Markell, Alex O’Reilly, Lawson MacDougall and Jesse St. John assisted on the goals. Alex Boileau was impressive in nets and held the Brantford team to only one goal. The championship game was won by the Rapids 3–1 over the Brantford 99ers for the gold and the championship. Undefeated!

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