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Club News Story

Big week at the Rodeo,

2016 / 01 / 31

This final weekend of January saw many Maverick teams on the road and some at home as we start to make the turn to the final events of the season. Once again we find youngsters showing their elder counterparts how to get it done and teams who slipped a little last time out regain their footing on solid ground.

The 18u Broncos who we last saw were on their way to the Championship event in Markham. This group went in with the number one seed and everyone knows there is only one result that will get you where you really want to be when you’re seeded 1st over all. The Broncos were on a mission to prove that their drop from premier before Christmas was a result of poor timing and injury. That they did with a great all round effort going undefeated for coach Colin Walker, through the day and clinching not only the gold but hopefully a ticket to the 18u Grand Prix to finish their season off. The day was also a big win as the team was able to use the entire rosteer throughout the day including  Bianca from the 17u GoldRush on loan for the tournament, this was a needed break for the girls who are heavy into their school season and still nursing injuries.

The Colts were up the Valley in Pembroke at the Trillium east event and as the 8th seed they had a huge order to fill getting their season back in the right direction. Coach Aaron Wade spent hours prepping this team for the event and it showed in their play all day. The Colts are hoping a little Hola is coming in the near future.

Still at the 18u age bracket but moving to the gauchos side we find the 18u Mustangs and the 17u Rangers both competing at the 18u Premier event in Markham. Frank St Denis’ Mustangs were looking to build on a solid performance in Rochester, NY and after a pool play split with wins over the KW Preds and a loss to the defending provincial champions Pakmen these guys actually saw the path they needed to get over the 5th place blues that have plagued them for three years running. Unfortunately when you look too far down the path you don’t see the speed bump right in front of you. The 17u Pakmen were that bump, losing to the ‘Stangs twice earlier in the season they were out to steal the road to the finals and defeated our boys in three sets. Unfortunately the guys never stopped looking in the rearview mirror after that and lost the 5th/7th game to the Preds who they had defeated to open the day. It’s now a waiting game.

But the big news of the day was from the youngen’s as mentioned earlier. The 17u Rangers stunned the pool taking over the tournamen's #1 seed from Aurora with wins vs the Storm and the Titans 17u team. From here they put the cuffs on the Leaside Thunder and those same 17u Pakmen to arrive in the finals vs the 18u Pakmen. The Kids are alright according to coach Bruce Dunning, but they weren’t quite ready for the poise and power that Pakmen brought on this day. Still, a gold in their first 18u at Championship and now a Silver in 18U Premier means that this group will likely be getting an invite to the big dance at the end of the season.

Now on to the 16u girls age group and once again a log jam of Maverick teams competing across this age group's calibre tournaments. We’ll begin down on the mighty St Lawrence in the Trillium division in Cornwall where no less than 4 Maverick Teams littered the schedule left right and centre. Let’s take a quick peek first at the 15u Trailblazers playing up at 16u for the first time this season. Coach Rose Bergeron who has been pleased with the girls performance at 15u felt they were ready to compete at the older age group, and she had a car pool buddy to boot. The girls found out that you need to compete for the entire match to be successful on the scoreboard and luckily for them they did just that winning their final match for a solid 5th place finish in an age group up.

At the same event in Cornwall the 16u Gamblers and Aces both had good days. Coach Gord Faulkner’s Aces cut the deck by finishing second in their pool with a win over the EOVC Air Force and a tight loss to the Servivors from Rockland. That put them up against the 15u HP Stampede in the quarters, a 3 set match where coach Chico Tanguay admits was his toughest competition of the day getting past these much improved hotshots.

Meanwhile on the other side of the draw the Gamblers of Coach Joel Bergeron took plenty of chances over the course of the day and hit paydirt with another medal performance winning Bronze over the 15u Ottawa Fusion group after another all Maverick squeaker 3 set loss to the Stampede in the semis. Seems like all the other Mavs team may have cut some head from the herd as the Stampede dropped their only loss in the final to the Servivors from Rockland at the end of a Maverick tri-fecta.

Now back home to Ottawa where the 15u HP Ambush and 16u HP Wildcards tried to defend home turf through the day. The Ambush once again found themselves in tough against the Titans from Scarborough and the Mustangs of Kemptville fame. The Titans once again proved their might with a straight set win and the Ambush herded up those Mustangs for a win. The second spot in the tournament ended up being a lost leader as they had to face the #2 seed Northumberland (NBVC) who slipped from their perch in pool play to the improved Ottawa Fusion team. The Ambush fought hard but lost the three tight sets to the NBVC team. The resulting loss set up a rematch with the Mustangs who Coach John Nguyen’s charges tamed once more for a 5th place standing.

That brings us to the 16u Wildcards who entered the tournament with the number one seed and were also bound and determined to retain that position and take their chances with a shot at the 16u Grand Prix coming up. The wake-up call came early for Pat Henderson’s ‘Cards as they sat opposite les Noir et Or of Boucherville QC, who have spoiled so many parties the past couple of seasons. Three sets was what it took but in the end the girls came out with a winning hand that would carry on through the next match over Markham and again in their quarters against those same Mustangs. (Seems they may need a better brand) The semis would be a tough battle maybe their toughest, as the girls fell behind a set with a misdeal of sorts. After a quick reshuffle by the coaching staff the girls laid out a perfect finish with a pair of convincing set wins. That brought us up against the hosts who thanks to their efforts made this show possible right here at home. The Fusion team had a perfect day coming into the final and when the Wildcards cut them their first loss, then they came right back with a convincing win of there own. There you have it, a brief game to 15 for the gold. Now I am not sure what the call was but whatever coach Henderson decided was the right move as the ‘Cards took an early lead and cruised into an early lead and a move to the next level. We are all awaiting to see if that includes a Golden ticket to the grandprix.

Finally, we go back down the 401 and Thornhill to see if the BlackJacks could improve on their 5th place seeding. With little to go on but a final result, I’ll venture to say that Coach John Spack’s team performed once again as expected considering the injuries and hold backs of some players. Finishing up where they started (5th) he ‘Jacks hope to be healthy by OC’s but would rather be ready for the Grand Prix which they most likely will get an invite to.

“ It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference. ”
– Paul "Bear" Bryant