UR Sports

Rice Lake Ravens Bantam Team

Judy Cook

By Judy Cook

On the weekend of March 24, the Rice Lake Raven Bantam Hockey team headed up the highway to Innisfil, Ontario for the March Madness Bantam Local League Tournament. After 2 days and 5 games of hockey, they returned back down the highway victorious with the A champion cup in hand.
The first game was against host team Innisfil, which was won by a score of 3 : 1 with goals going to Dale Cook, Dalton Samis and Jack Brown. The second game was a nail biter as the score ended up being a 1-1 draw against a very fired up team from Midland with our lone goal going to Dale Cook. Knowing they needed a big effort on Sunday morning to ensure a spot in the Semi final game, they went on to beat Oakridges by a score of 9: 2 with Dale Cook scoring 4, Dalton Samis scoring 3, Ben Vansteijn scoring 1 and Tyrus Smith scoring 1. This win allowed the Ravens to finish first in their pool. In the semifinal game they played a team from Welland and shut them out 3:0 with 2 goals going to Dalton Samis and a single marker going to Dale Cook. They were now on to the final Championship game. Game 5 in 2 days against none other than the host Innisfil team. In a very spirited final game the boys from Rice Lake took the lead in the first minute of play with a goal from their captain Dale Cook, Innisfil not to be outdone replied in the second minute of play. Rice Lake took the lead again at 2:32 of the first period with a goal from Dalton Samis but Innisfil not to be outdone cashed in with 1:35 left in the first period. The second period saw the teams trade chances but the goaltenders on both teams came up with big saves for their teams. At the 3:02 mark of the 3rd period Rice Lake again took the lead with a goal from Dale Cook with Innisfil replying at the 9:56 mark to again tie the game. Finally with 1:54 left in the 3rd Tyrus Smith netted the winner on a beautiful set up from Brandon Doran. Although Innisfil pushed hard the Ravens played stingy defence and did not allow the host team to get a chance to tie it up again.
All the players contributed to win the A championship as everyone on the team contributed with points(Goals or assists) showing that they truly played together as a team. (they were also one of the cleanest teams in the tournament as Rice Lake players only had 7 minor penalties in 5 games.
The goaltending duo of Connor Cunningham and Jacob Walker had an outstanding tournament by holding the opposition to just 7 goals over 5 games.
This has capped off a very successful season for the Ravens as they finished 1st in the United Counties Bantam league, captured the A championship in Playoffs in this league, finished first in league cross over games against LEO league teams, won the A championship in the Rice Lake Bantam Tournament and the B championship in the Grafton Bantam Tournament as well. This team has only lost 6 games out of 51 games this season.
Team Members are as follows : Dale Cook, Dalton Samis, Tyrus Smith, Connor Cunningham, Ben VanSteijn, Cole Botrie, Jack Brown, Jacob Walker, Jacob Brill, Byron Schillaci, Cody Butterley, Connor Ferguson, Brandon Doran.
Coaching staff : Doug Cook, David Walker, Wayne Smith and Cody Harrison.

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