A banner weekend it was not for the Great North Midget League teams as all except the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves made the trek to Ottawa, site of the ninth annual Senators Midget AAA Showcase Tournament.
The GNML franchises posted a combined record of 5-12-3 in round robin play, with only the North Bay Trappers managing to hit the win column more than once. The Trappers kicked off the event with a 3-2 win over the Clarington Toros as Nathaniel McLeod paced the offence with a two-goal effort, with Alec Shaw netting the other.
North Bay was effectively eliminated from the Sunday morning semifinals after being blanked by both the Grey Bruce Highlanders (3-0) and the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (7-0), though the team displayed some encouraging spirit, closing out with a win.
Aaron Dart drilled a pair of goals, with singles coming from Thomas Farrell, Michael Silveri and McLeod as the Trappers bounced the Ottawa Valley Titans 5-1. The Kapuskasing Flyers matched North Bay with a win in their opening game, edging the Kingston Jr. Frontenacs 3-2.
Joshua DeJulio, Miguel Castillo and Cameron Etherington all found the back of the net for the GNML's most northern franchise. The Flyers narrowly missed moving to 2-0, dropping a 4-3 decision to the host Ottawa Senators as Castillo and Etherington were joined on the scoresheet by Raphael Lecours.
Kapuskasing opened some eyes in Game 3, playing to a 1-1 draw with the eventual tournament champion North York Rangers, with Lecours scoring for a second straight game. Unfortunately, they were unable to build on that momentum, drubbed 7-1 by the Niagara Falls Rivermen as DeJulio netted his second goal of the weekend.
The Nickel City Sons were held completely off the scoreboard in their first three games, garnering some positives for the bus ride north after closing out the tournament with a 5-3 win over the Oshawa Generals.
Shutout losses to the Oakville Rangers (3-0), OHA Maverick Gold (3-0) and Don Mills Flyers (2-0) may have dampened the spirits of the players, but it certainly didn't show as the locals returned home on a winning note.
Alain Sicard and Nathan Shane both enjoyed two-goal performances, with Cole Braney rounding out the attack. The Timmins Majors matched Nickel City in posting a 1-3-0 record, though their victory would come in Game 3.
The Ottawa Jr. 67's doubled the Majors 4-2, with Timmins getting goals from Harley McWatch and Dillan Bruce. The GNML reps fell to 0-2 with a 3-0 loss to CIH Academy, but rebounded with a 3-2 win over the Peterborough Petes.
Bruce, Keenan Miller and Calvin Naveau provided the margin of victory, as Timmins ended tournament play with a 5-1 loss to the Brampton 45's (Dalton Bruce with the goal).
Finally, the New Liskeard Cubs recorded a pair of ties sandwiched between shutout defeats in Ottawa. After falling 3-0 to the Eastern Ontario Wild, the Cubs earned a hard-fought 3-3 draw with the York Simcoe Express, with Ryan Overton (2) andJacob Jamieson accounting for the scoring.
New Liskeard duplicated that result in game three, deadlocked at 3-3 with the Mississauga Reps after regulation time and two overtime sessions as Mike Herd, Dustin Gauvreau and Marshal Nikitin all broke through offensively.
That well would run dry in their final game as the Waterloo Wolves upended the Cubs 5-0. North York captured the tournament with a 4-3 win over Brampton, with Waterloo and the Jr. Canadiens taken down in the Sunday semifinals.