Bantam Rapids triumph at tournament
Seaway Valley’s minor bantam ‘AA’ hockey team is this year’s Kanata Capital Winter Classic champion. The Rapids, under the guidance of head coach Marc Sauve, were victorious in the 10-team tournament, concluding a very successful series of events through the winter, that included finishing as finalists in the Kawartha ‘AA’ tourney, semifinalists in the Scotia Cup, and the championship of the Paul Coffey Invitational.
At the Kanata tournament, Seaway opened with a 3-1 victory over the Nepean Raiders. Goaltender Mathew Villeneuve backstopped the win, while netting goals were Rylan Iwachniuk and Shane Gaudreau. Jack Ingram, Justice Brownlee, and Ben Pineault were credited with assists.
It was league rival Eastern Ontario Cobras that handed the Rapids their only loss on the road to the championship, as SVR came out on the short side of a 3-2 decision in game two.
Andrew Dixon, assisted by Gaudeau, scored in the first period, and the Cobras took the lead in the second stanza with a pair of power-play markers.
Pineault rounded out the Seaway scoring in the third.
Up next were the Nickel City Junior Sons. SVR dominated the contest, securing a 6-1 win, with Villeneuve between the pipes.
Jamieson Miles and Graham Robertson scored for the Rapids in the first period, with Nathaniel Faubert assisting.
Robertson, Dixon, Iwachinuk, and Ingram also chalked up goals in the game, while additional apples went to Pineault and Riley MacDonald.
Netminder Danik Martin got the late-evening assignment for the last round-robin game, where Seaway took on the Ottawa Sting. The Rapids needed a tie or a win to advance to the semifinal stage.
It was a fast-paced, hard-hitting contest, that finished up a 1-1 draw, with SVR’s lone tally notched by Faubert in the second period. Earning assists were MacDonald and Robertson.
An early-morning semi had the Rapids facing the Rideau St. Lawrence Kings, with Martin backstopping a 3-2 win.
Iwachniuk scored the first goal in the opening frame, assisted by Pineault and Dixon. Alex Oakes found the back of the net in the second period, at the time tying the contest 2-2.
Seaway’s game-winner came in the third, when Dixon notched a short-handed tally to send the Rapids on to the gold medal game.
The tournament title would be decided in the final match between Seaway Valley and the Whitby Wildcats, with the Rapids skating to a 3-1 win.
Villeneuve was in net for this one, with teammates Faubert, Ingram, and Dixon scoring at the other end of the ice. Lauzon, MacDonald, and Iwachniuk were credited with assists.
The SV Rapids continue regular-season play in the Eastern Ontario ‘AA’ Minor Hockey League, where the squad sits in second place of 11 teams.
The 18-9-2 Rapids are next scheduled to skate against the 15-8-5 Gloucester Rangers on Friday, Feb. 5, in Cornwall.
Robertson currently leads the team in goals, with 18, while MacDonald is tops in points, with 39.
ON THE ICE: Mac McRae, 11, and his younger brother, Alastair, 9, practise their hockey skills at the Bainsville outdoor rink, enjoying ideal afternoon conditions.
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