PeeWee all-stars off to provincials


The Northwestern Ontario PeeWee all-stars faced a stiff test against royalty in Thunder Bay over the weekend, but came through with a coup when it counted.
The squad, which included locals Tyler VanUden, Jared Bethune, Brandon Bodnar, Carter Brown, and Claire Sandelovich, crowned the Thunder Bay Kings 5-4 in overtime at the PeeWee ‘AAA’ branch championships over the weekend.
With the win, the regional squad advanced to the provincial championship April 5-10 in St. Marys.
The local contingent made its presence felt right from the get-go as Bethune notched the all-stars’ only goal in a 4-1 loss to Thunder Bay during round-robin play.
Turner Santin scored the first two goals for the Kings while Zach Grzelewski and Travis Glomba added singles.
But the Northwestern all-stars rebounded with a 9-0 blitz against the East Zone reps.
Bethune struck for another goal in that one while VanUden and Sandelovich both recorded assists in the game.
Geoff Kitt led the all-stars with a hat trick, with Brendan Stanley chipping in a pair.
Logan Ginn, Trevor Kavanaugh, and Parker McRae rounded out the Northwestern attack.
That win led the all-stars to a rematch against the Kings for the championship.
Thunder Bay struck first in the final, with Kris Hamlin opening the scoring at 4:10.
The all-stars struck back late in the frame, however, as Kavanaugh knotted things up with assists from Bethune and Sandelovich.
The teams traded goals again in the second as Kitt, with an assist going to VanUden, tallied at 11:20 while Laine McKay responded for the Kings at 8:28.
Northwestern surged ahead by a pair on goals by VanUden and Ginn just 1:09 apart, but Thunder Bay’s Grzelewski netted a pair of his own—the first with 21 seconds left in the periods and the second with just one tick left on the clock—to make it 4-4 after two.
A scoreless third period set up overtime, where Kitt was the hero, notching the game-winner at 10:15 of the extra frame to give the all-stars the win.
Bantams lose
Fort Frances also was well-represented in the Bantam round of the tournament with Nolan Ross, David Ross, Ian Kitt, Scott Parsons, Judd Gardiman, and Colton Spicer.
Northwestern met up with Thunder Bay in the final again, but dropped a 3-1 decision.
The Bantams’ tourney began in similar fashion to the PeeWees—opening with a 4-1 loss to Thunder Bay.
Brett Jeffries gave Northwestern the early lead, assisted by Kitt, but it was all Kings from there.
Fort Frances native Jordan Larson netted a pair for Thunder Bay, with Brent Aiken and Dylan Mascarin adding singles.
But Northwestern bounced back with a 10-0 crushing of the East Zone reps.
Spicer tallied four goals en route to earning game MVP honours. Cody Kaus and Dylan Husak added two apiece, with Jared Binguis and Bowen Alcock notching singles.
The Bantam all-stars were unable to repeat the magic of the PeeWees, however, falling 3-1 in the final to the Kings.
Nolan Ross got Northwestern rolling at 5:41 of the first, assisted by Spicer, but Nolan Nicholas knotted the score later in the period.
Larson notched the eventual game-winner at 4:50 of the second, with Mikko Keski-Pukkila icing the win with an empty-netter with six seconds to go.