Now that another exciting edition of the OHL Cup has finished up, you can see the next wave of young stars at the OHF All-Ontario Bantam AAA championships.
Seven of the best Bantam AAA teams from around Ontario battle for the OHF championship in Thunder Bay, Ont. Through three days of play, there are two teams separating themselves from the rest of the field.
Toronto Marlboros are leading the tournament with five straight wins with a couple dominant performances and the tournaments top scorers. After escaping their first game against Cambridge 1-0, they started the domination.
The Marlboros kicked off the tournament handing York-Simcoe their only loss so far with an 8-2 final. The Marlboros then topped the Ottawa Jr. 67s 6-2 and later that day defeated the Fort Frances Canadians 10-1. On Day 3, Toronto found a familiar outcome, giving hosts Thunder Bay a 8-0 loss.
The Marlboros have notched 33 goals for (and only five against), so it’s no surprise they also have the tournament’s top four scoring leaders. Reid Valade had a hat trick against York-Simcoe and a four-point, three-assist night against Thunder Bay, setting himself with 11 points through five games. Lleyton Moore is leading the Marlboros in assists with nine and is third in the tournament with 12 points.
Stephen Halliday and Will Cuylle are leading the tournament with 14 points each, six goals and eight assists apiece. Both Halliday and Cuylle have had huge nights so far in the tournament. Halliday had a four-point night against York-Simcoe, with two goals two assists, and a six-point show during the 10-1 stomping of Fort Frances. As for Cuylle, he’s come on strong in the last two games, putting up three goals and two assists for back-to-back five point games to catch up to Halliday.
The Marlboros look to finish the tournament undefeated as they have one game left, before the playoff rounds, versus North Bay.
The York-Simcoe Express is the only team that has been able to keep pace with the Marlboros, posting 28 goals in five games. After getting outplayed in their first game against Toronto, the Express quickly recovered to win their next four games. They played two games on the second day, winning at 8-2 over Fort Frances and 7-1 over Thunder Bay. Putting themselves back in the top ranks of the tournament, York-Simcoe kept rolling through Cambridge 5-1 in the early game on the third day. On their second game on Day 3, the Express gave us a repeat of the Marlboros’ game against the Ottawa Jr. 67s the day before, defeating the 67s with a matching 6-2 score.
The Express hold the next five spots on the point leaderboard. Cole Galata has three goals, Ty Collins has four goals and Evan Vierling has five goals while all three of them sit at eight points. Big captain Quinton Byfield and teammate Jack Bar are leading York-Simcoe with nine points each. Jack Bar potted a hat trick in the their third game and added an assist for a four point game. Byfield has been steady the entire tournament, scoring at least one point per game, with three multi-point games.
The only player on the top 15 not playing for the Marlboros or the Express is Sean Mcgurn of the Ottawa Jr. 67s, who is tied for second in goals with five goals over five games and seven points total.
The final games and playoff round will be on Friday. Stay tuned for the final tournament recap.
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