The truth is, given the overall depth of talent this event attracts — 38 top-end minor bantam AAA teams in 2013 — just making it through to the final 16 has been something of a rarity for any northern Ontario squads.
Posting a record of 3-0-1, the Sons topped their entire 20-team conference (Harold Ballard Conference) with Damien Giroux leading the way offensively, accumulating eights points in round-robin play (two goals and six assists).
Closing off their pool play with a 5-0 shutout of the Vaughan Kings, the Sons drew the Dallas Stars Elite for the playoff round, battling a team ranked No. 5 in the United States at the moment.
A 5-2 loss for the Nickel City crew did little to lessen the overall sense of accomplishment for a group that currently leads their Northern Ontario AAA Hockey League standings by nearly 20 points.
In addition to their regular roster of goaltenders Conner Sauvé and Matty Mayhew and skaters Eric Rainville, Bailey Therrien, Christian Gaudreau, Jaymes Green, Brady Maltais, Jordan Spadafore, Mathieu Seguin, Tommy Vlahos, Shane Poitras, Aiden Chmielak, Parker Savard, Quintin Bertrand, Patrick Godin, Ryan Fournier and Damien Giroux, the group also included call-ups Landon Thomson and Adam Bertrand for the tournament.
The Nickel City Minor Midget AAA Sons posted a record of 1-3, following up an opening day loss to the Brantford 99ers with a 2-1 win over the Central Ontario Wolves before falling to both the Southern Tier Admirals (3-0) and the Toronto Red Wings (4-2).
Finally, the Major Bantam Sons mirrored their Day 2 split with a win and a loss on Day 3 as well, finishing with a record of 2-2. Nickel City edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2 but were stopped 5-2 by the host Toronto Marlboros.