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Kitchener, Ontario Published 3 times a year 2017 • Issue 12

KMHA teams doing well in tournament play


THANK YOU TO OUR MANY SPONSORS!

2016-2017

PLATINUM HOUSE LEAGUE SPONSORS

GOLD HOUSE LEAGUE SPONSORS

SILVER HOUSE LEAGUE SPONSORS Applicance Plus 519-576-3888 Casey’s Grill & Bar 519-745-6125 Gibson Sound & Vision 519-746-8030 Grand River Sports Medicine 519-571-7111 Jiffy Lube 519-886-0561 JP Sportswear 519-576-2792 Kuppers & Company 519-744-0886 Libro Credit Union 519-570-9955

Picture Yourself 519-745-8495 Play It Again Sports 519-748-5809 Rick Heinz Hockey School 877-434-6977 SCH Consulting Inc. (Team 1) 519-581-7808 SCH Consulting Inc. (Team 2) 519-581-7808 Skills Plus Hockey Inc. 519-570-3617 Superior Memorials 519-745-6136 Techline Motors 519-570-1733 Unique Restoration 778-977-6065

Kitchener Minor Hockey thanks the

KITCHENER RANGERS for their generous support of our Jr Rangers and Lady Rangers rep teams.


April/May • Twelfth Edition Official Magazine of the KMHA

table of contents 04 | Thank you from the KMHA Board of Directors

sportsfiles

The Major Atom AAA travel to Chicago for a weekend of hockey and unforgettable memories. See the story on p. 15.

Entertaining, informative and engaging articles on local athletes, sports and teams. 06 | Kitchener Lady Rangers 2017 Girls’ Hockey Day 06 | Memories from Girls’ Hockey Day 09 | Midget A Lady Rangers — Stratford Festival Cup Challenge 09 | Great start for the Lady Rangers Novice B team 15 | A weekend in Chicago the Major Atom AAA team won’t forget 16 | Novice Lady Rangers Red brings home the gold 18 | Moving on from my playing career 19 | Lady Rangers Peewee B team — Ancaster Avalanche Fall Shootout champions 19 | The 23rd Annual Kitchener FallFest

sportsnews SportsXpress is proud to launch the twelfth edition of HockeyXpress, a magazine dedicated to bringing you stories about hockey in the Kitchener area. We are proud to partner with the Kitchener Minor Hockey Association on this publication, as we work to grow and develop the great game of hockey at a grassroots level, by sharing with you stories on our teams, players and events. As you flip through this edition, you will find some great success stories about some of our local Kitchener players, coaches and teams, as well as lots of information on what’s new at KMHA. As you’re reading, keep in mind that several of these stories are coming straight from parents, coaches and KMHA volunteers themselves. HockeyXpress will be printed three times per year and we need your help to share the stories happening in our community.

See you at the rinks!

Please visit the KMHA website at www.kitchenerminorhockey.com for more information on our programs and teams. Also be sure t be sure to visit your KW area SportsXpress website at www.waterloo.sportsxpress.ca, to read up on all of the region’s local sports stories, where you can also find our uploader to send us your own stories.

Up-to-date information on what is happening. 13 | GHWL 2016/17 champions!

healthandfitness

Informative articles on sports health & fitness. 07 | Helmets - not just for hockey anymore

teamprofiles

Profiling community sports in words and photographs. 08 | Canadian Tire Classic champions: Novice MB Blue 10 | Lady Rangers Intermediate A team is looking forward to the playoffs 11 | Rangers win Guelph PowerPlay Championship! 11 | Major Atom A Jr. Rangers are now Oktoberfest Tournament Champions 12 | Minor Midget AAA team keeps rolling 17 | Kitchener Lady Rangers Midget Blue team wins Lakeshore Lightning 3rd Annual Tournament

behindthebench

Tips, tactics and ideas are shared by athletes, coaches and fans. 05 | Ref! You must be joking? 14 | Development role - progression


Thank You from the KMHA Board of Directors Another season has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and another graduating class of hockey players age out of the program and move on to greater endeavours. This year, the season ended with several of our players leaving memorable social media posts outlining what hockey meant to them and what it will be like to move forward with the dream of competitive hockey in the rear-view mirror. These posts have left a lasting impression with the volunteers that strive to effect a positive change in the youth of Kitchener. The lessons learned during their participation in hockey will lead these young men and women to success in post-secondary education or in starting a new business. I can speak for our coaches when I say we are so proud of how KMHA players work together to make the Kitchener community strong. Just this month, as we sat listening to the Mayor’s State of the City Address, we were pleased to hear stories about the off-ice achievements of our athletes. From helping with the bid for the summer games to working on a project to bring Buddy Benches to local schools, KMHA players were ever present in our community-at-large. While we’re working on ways to better offer our programs, KMHA continues to grow. One of the best changes this year was a renewed vigor and commitment to the KMHA family. Our players are showing up in record numbers to support one another as we move forward in our championship efforts. This year, we saw record attendance rates at both Minor Midget AAA and Girls’ Midget AA games. Keep up the great support! We know we have seen the same AAA boys and girls AA players out to support their KMHA family as they strive to win at their respective levels. The Board of Directors extends thanks to all our volunteers for being the best in the world. There truly is not another hockey community like ours and that is because of you and the efforts you make for the youth of Kitchener. We look forward to seeing the volunteers at this year’s volunteer dance. With 4-on-4 full and spring tryouts underway, we look forward to next season and the adventures that a new year of hockey brings.

2017

TWELFTH EDITION PUBLISHERS

Brad Eason 519 208 9302 ext. 837 Brad@SportsXpress.ca Erin Kummer 519 208 9302 ext. 838 ErinK@SportsXpress.ca Kitchener Minor Hockey Association

EDITOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER CONTRIBUTORS

Gord Dearborn Alyssa MacLeod Alyssa@SportsXpress.ca Glenn P. McDonald, Pat Zister, Brian Duke, Daryll Smith, Dean DeSilva, Jason Gruetzmacher, Jenn Carpenter, Riley Cousineau, Sean Sutherland, coaches of the various teams including Tim, Ian and Milan (Major Atom A), various KMHA participants including the Board of Directors, photographers and the SportsXpress Team.

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Editorial Contributions: Submissions are welcome from writers, photographers, athletes, coaches and individuals. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. Contributors are responsible for obtaining all approvals for the publication of photos and content prior to submission. All submissions may not be used. We may edit, publish, reproduce, distribute and archive submissions in any form or medium without any compensation. We are not responsible for lost or damaged submissions. Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Reproduction or transmission of any article, photograph or artwork in any form or by any means without permission from the publisher is prohibited. SportsXpress is published six times per year. For detailed circulation information, contact SportsXpress Media Inc. SportsXpress Media Inc. is committed to protecting your privacy as our customer. We may collect personal information only if it is required for the proper functioning of our business and only share this information with our business partners. The editors and contributors who write for SportsXpress Media Inc. attempt to provide accurate and useful information and commentary. However, the editors, contributors and SportsXpress Media Inc. cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy of the information. We assume no responsibility for any actions or decisions taken by any readers based on the information provided.

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behindthebench

Ref! You must be joking? You may see us and not know we are supervisors of officials. We sit in the stands with you and conduct comprehensive assessments of the onice officials. This assures that Hockey Canada’s message for application of the rules is delivered consistently. In the process, we hear some pretty interesting comments from spectators on both sides of the gallery. To enhance your hockey pleasure, allow me to offer a few clarifications about what we see on the ice. Please, read on...

Glove pass! Well, yes, if a player intentionally directs the puck by hand to a team mate, this may be a violation. It depends, however, upon where the hand pass is completed. The defending team may legally receive a hand pass from a team mate anywhere in their defensive zone. No whistle, play on!

Face off location? Often misunderstood! If the attacking team is being penalized in their attacking zone and it’s on delay and, before the stoppage the defending team is guilty of an offence as well, the whistle is blown immediately. Why is the face off inside the defender’s zone when the attackers were assessed the first penalty? The reason is that, regardless of how many penalties are assessed or which team was the first violation, when both teams are penalized the face off remains in the zone where the stoppage occurred (unless there is some other reason for the stoppage). Here is another situation. Team A shoots the puck such that it touches a player’s glove (Team B) that is hanging over the boards from his players’ bench. Why does the face off not go back to the point from which the puck was shot? Here is why; the Team B player on the bench should not have

Submitted by Glenn P. McDonald — KMHA Director of Officials

a glove or stick over the boards in the playing area. Team B must therefore face a territorial loss so the face off is located closest to where the Team B glove touched the puck.

During a delayed penalty to Team A, a player from Team A deflects the puck (this may include the goalie) and there is no whistle. “Why no whistle? They touched the puck?” Well, yes, they did touch the puck but in order to qualify for a stoppage during a delayed penalty, Team A must gain possession and control of the puck and, until that happens... no whistle, play on!

considered a major penalty. The referee has discretion in deciding whether an offence has resulted in an opponent’s injury. This decision must be made in a timely manner based on sound judgment. Often, the injury is not realized until later in the game, well after the penalty has been assessed. At times, a player believed to be injured returns to play a shift or two after a major was assessed. Coaches and spectators puzzle over such situations but the call must be made within a reasonable time. While subjective, the decision relies on the official’s training, experience, and hockey sense. These calls are often protested and now we can all see why.

Too many players!

Summary

Team B is in the process of a line change. Three players are standing on the ice outside their team bench waiting to go through the gate. Their replacements have jumped on the ice. So, there are nine Team B players on the ice (including the goalie). Team A shoots the puck near the Team B bench and it contacts one or more of the Team B players trying to get off the ice. Too many players, right? Wrong! As long as the substitution is made while the players leaving the ice are within ten feet of their bench and nobody from Team B involved in the change intentionally plays the puck or checks an opponent, there is no whistle... play on!

Hopefully, these examples clarify some of the confusing situations we all see during the course of a game. To answer the question; no, the ref is not joking! He wants to get it right more often than not. We don’t expect you to agree with every call, but you need to know that we do our best to keep it fair and safe every time out. No joking!

They touched it!

Why a minor, not a major penalty? This one gets tricky. Some penalties are automatically major, and all major penalties carry a Game Misconduct. These infractions include fighting, crosschecking above the shoulders, and charging or crosschecking a goalie in the crease. Any penalty that results in an injury to the opponent is

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sportsfiles

Kitchener Lady Rangers 2017 Girls’ Hockey Day Submitted by Pat Zister On January 22, KMHA hosted its annual Girls’ Hockey Day for a full day of hockey that featured all of the Kitchener Lady Ranger teams (except Intermediate A and Senior A) playing a league game at the Activa Sportsplex. Game times started at 8:00 a.m. and continue late into the night. In addition to the league games played by the Rep teams and the Local League teams, there were some on-ice activities to help increase the awareness of Lady Ranger hockey. These activities included a Lady Ranger Rookies’ inter-squad game, “Give it a Try” for girls that are new to hockey, “Girls playing boys hockey” and a game with the Kitchener Ice Pirates. Cherie Piper, three-time gold medalist with the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey team (2002, 2006 & 2010) and world champion (2004) ran the “Give it a Try” program and was available for pictures and autographs. She also dropped the puck for the game between our Girls’ Hockey Day contest winners and their opponent. Canadian Tire Corporation sponsors

Girls’ Hockey Day and funds raised through the day go to the Jump Start charity that allows children to play sports in our community that may otherwise not be able to play. We held a contest where the team that raised the most money, in the form of Canadian Tire money and Jump Start pledges, wins a set of Girls’ Hockey Day jerseys to wear in their game on Girls’ Hockey Day. They also kept the jerseys! There were several off-ice activities so the players, including visiting teams, could become more involved in the day and have fun while they were at the rink. The objective of Girls’ Hockey Day is to encourage existing players to continue playing girls’ hockey and to encourage potential players to give the game a try. Hope to see everyone playing next year!

Cherie Piper, three-time gold medalist on the Canadian Women’s Olympic team

Memories from Girls’ Hockey Day “I think that we battled hard and we had no doubt in our mind that if we went out there and played Canadian hockey that we would come out successful. ” - Meghan Agosta This year’s rendition of Kitchener Girls’ Hockey Day was exciting. With great activities, nail-biting games and a large crowd, the Kitchener hockey community celebrated its Lady Rangers. As players arrived, they were

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greeted by friendly faces and a tent honouring the event sponsor, Canadian Tire. KMHA thanks Canadian Tire for stepping up to support our players and ensuring that our event was a great one. Highlights included “Give it a try” with 27 participants. Our volunteers suited up these young girls with full hockey equipment so they could try hockey for the first time. Our planning committee invited a special guest to drop the puck at the start of every game. Each special guest was a strong, successful woman from our community or a supporter

Submitted by ???

in the movement to get more young women playing sports in Kitchener. These ladies and supporters included volunteers, entrepreneurs, politicians, celebrities, and athletes. Leaving politics out of it, it was great for our young players to see that if they work hard and strive, they could lead our province, or even our country, someday. With the skills they learn from hockey, they will be better suited to success and achievement. Thank you to all of the volunteers that made this event so successful and for leading KMHA into the future.


healthandfitness

Helmets — not just for hockey anymore Submitted by Pat Zister It is the second-last piece of equipment that players put on before they grab their sticks and hit the ice. As part of a routine that borders on ritual and obsession, players throughout our region reach down for their bucket and quickly strap it on. It is almost always done without notice or objection, and the rules are simple; if you don’t wear it you don’t play. Although the introduction of the hockey helmet took place in the 1920s, the NHL did not mandate its use until prior to the 1979 season and, even then, it was only for players who signed a contract to enter the league after June 1 of that year. The last player to play without one was Craig McTavish who finished the 1996-97 hockey season with the St. Louis Blues. Ever since then, players on arguably the world’s largest stage of the game have utilized head protection. As the research and understanding of brain injury and trauma continues to develop, one thing is clear; helmets are saving lives and limiting the impact of concussions on youth and adults alike who are just out to play the game they love so much. Very few players would knowingly let a teammate take to ice without making sure their friend was protected. It, quite simply, has become automatic for everyone who wishes to participate: players, coaches, trainers and parents alike. Carter Lobo is just such an individual. As a 10-year-old goaltender for the AtoMc Orange 2016-17 squad, his infectious passion for the game and energetic attitude make him a desired and dependable teammate. However, in early November, Carter’s net-minding days were forced to endure an abrupt intermission. That simple piece of equipment that he would never forget to put on when at the rink and that he had been wearing only moments before outside his family home, was inadvertently set aside and forgotten as he rode off in youthful exuberance. What happened moments thereafter

had a severe impact not only on Carter himself, but also on family, friends, teammates and so many others inside the hockey community and the community at large. Carter was involved in an accident involving a moving motor vehicle. The extent of his injuries greatly hinged one thing; the helmet he should have been wearing sat helpless mere metres away. Diagnosed with a skull fracture and concussion, Carter’s quality of life dramatically changed in an instant. The recovery for Carter goes deeper than the physical scars as the mental rehabilitation can be just as frustratingly difficult. The initial recoup for this type of injury is to ask a 10-yearold boy to do something that sounds nearly impossible —stop behaving physically like a 10-year-old boy. No running, no jumping, no playing and what seems most heartbreaking for Carter, no hockey. The story for Carter and his family is not without its bright spots. When reached for her thoughts Carter’s mother (Steph) shared no shortage of appreciation and admiration for the players and staff of the AtoMc Orange team who had immediately reached out to the family with support, meals, grocery cards and other heartfelt gifts. But the support did not stop there, it continued with the greater Kitchener hockey family, from families of former

teammates and from families they had not yet met. The outpouring of support has been vast and inspiring. Accidents are as much a part of daily life as they are within sport itself. They can happen at anytime, and yet it seems that within hockey we work so hard to limit their impact as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the understanding that there is so much more to do and learn. Carter did nothing to deserve the outcome; he did nothing outside what we see so many children do every day and what they should be doing everyday. The difference is the importance placed on one of the most important parts of our bodies, our brain. More and more hockey organizations have begun mandatory preseason baseline testing for all players, allowing them to better follow, diagnose and treat all head trauma cases. This commitment to players and their well-being will begin to trickle into mainstream consciousness creating better and more consistent thought process when it comes to organized sport and sport played on streets and in yards throughout our great community. Our thoughts and our hearts go out to Carter in wishing him a thorough yet speedy recovery. There is no place I would rather be than in the front row when he next takes the ice. I can’t wait to see that passion in his eyes through the cage in his helmet.

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teamprofiles

Canadian Tire Classic champions: Novice MB Blue Submitted by Brian Duke The Novice MD Blue team recently traveled to Barrie to participate in the Canadian Tire Classic tournament. The boys represented Kitchener with class and walked away tournament champions! The team rolled through the roundrobin segment with a perfect record of four wins (over Kent Teksavvy, Orangeville Flyers, Milton Winterhawks and the Flamborough Sabres) and no losses. The boys worked hard and played with grit and determination throughout the tournament. The teamwork they displayed was amazing. In a couple of the games, they were up by a few goals but continued to be unselfish and pass the puck around. (We, as coaches, emphasize playing as a team and working together for team success and that no one player is bigger than the team.) When we got into the semis vs. Richmond Hill Stars, that teamwork was very apparent. They worked hard and passed the puck beautifully to each other creating lots of scoring chances. In the first period, both teams fought hard and exchanged chances back and forth but neither team managed to capitalize. We were able to get two goals in the second period and take that lead into the third. To Richmond Hill’s credit, they battled back and got an early goal in the third period. Scoring opportunities went back and forth until late in the period when we were able to add an insurance goal. The players never quit and kept their determination to make it to the finals. The championship game featured our Kitchener Jr Ranger Novice MD Blue vs. the Orillia Terriers. The Terriers emerged from the other round-robin grouping with similar success to our team. We knew we were going to be in for a close game but didn’t realize how close it was actually going to be! The first two periods were intense as both teams battled hard. Our boys controlled most of the play for the first two periods narrowly missing several

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scoring chances. Orillia’s goalie made several good saves and our goalie was equal to the task making several timely stops himself. We were able to get on the scoreboard first with a goal in the third period. Orillia then stuck back with a goal of their own thereby tying the game. Our boys did not panic — as a matter of fact, they elevated their game and worked even harder! They popped in another goal taking the lead 2 – 1 with only six minutes to play. The boys were thrilled, jumping up and down on the bench. Then, with just 2:45 left to play, Orillia answered back and tied the game. Again, the boys didn’t quit and kept working to get that all important third goal but couldn’t succeed and regulation play ended with the game tied at two apiece. We were off to a ten-minute overtime to solve the tiebreaker but, although each team had good scoring opportunities, the overtime didn’t settle anything. We went to a three-minute

4-on-4 overtime but again, when the buzzer sounded, the score was still tied. Triple overtime, featured 3-on-3 action and you could cut the tension with a knife. After battling the Terriers for six periods, the Terriers turned the puck over and we went down the ice and buried one in the top corner of the net. Kitchener gloves and sticks littered the ice and the boys celebrated their first tournament win of the year and could call themselves champions! This group of boys never ceases to amaze us. There has been a lot asked of these young men and every time they’ve been challenged, they’ve worked harder and pulled together as a team! We asked the boys to believe in themselves and to believe in their teammates; time and time again, they’ve shown us that they do, in fact, believe! Congratulations boys — you most definitely deserve this championship!


sportsfiles

Midget A Lady Rangers— Stratford Festival Cup Challenge Submitted by Daryll Smith “To be, or not to be?” (Hamlet) That was the question and Festival gold was the answer. The Kitchener Lady Ranger Midget A team travelled to the “Festival City” to play in the Stratford Festival Cup Challenge. Taking the words of King Lear, “Nothing will come of nothing,” the ladies played the first three games of the tournament like it was September hockey. No flow, little jump and lack of true team play had them finishing a well-earned fourth after the round-robin games. At that point, the first place Ravens must have smelled victory heading into semi-final action. In a game that bore no resemblance to the round-robin games, the ladies found flow, found jump and played as the true team that they are. Although a

Rangers, thanks to the Belmont Blazers, Stratford Aces and Waterloo Ravens for reminding us what true “team” compete means. To be (competitive), or not to be (competitive) was the question. As discussed in the dressing room, the team has to learn from that weekend’s lessons. Qualifying for both LLFHL Playoffs and OWHA Provincials will depend on what the ladies did (or didn’t) learn. Good choices and options remain keys to their success and they are the only ones who can make them. On behalf of Bill, Dave, Sarah and Tim, congratulations to the Midget A Lady Rangers on their tournament gold!

late third period goal brought the score to within one, the ladies earned their way into the finals against the host Stratford Aces. Rumor is that the Aces felt the same way, having watched the Rangers play some serious house-league style of hockey in the round robin. The ladies remained strong, finding their game against a determined Aces team. In a game that had fans from both sides cheering loudly, overtime solved nothing so we were off to a shoot-out! We practice for a reason and allowing only one goal-against while scoring two was the team’s reward for all that practicing. On behalf of the Kitchener Lady

Great start for the Lady Rangers Novice B team The Lady Rangers Novice B season is off to a great start! The girls are very excited to be coached by several young women with Lady Ranger experience. Assistant Coach Lauren Coxon has returned from playing NCAA and OUAA hockey to her roots in Kitchener. Madison Mitchell finished her minor hockey career on last year’s Lady Rangers Midget AA team and is excited to begin the next phase in her minor hockey life as a coach! The team is also

excited to have several young women from local Midget AA and PWHL teams helping with practices. In the team’s first four games, the girls have responded exceptionally well to their coaching by winning all four games and only allowing a single goal against — three shutouts! On September 24, the team celebrated with a pancake breakfast at Coach Chris’s house. What a great start to what looks to be an exciting season!

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teamprofiles

Lady Rangers Intermediate A team is looking forward to the playoffs

Back Row: Sydney McDonald, Meghan MacKay, Amy Thompson, Katie Simons, Nicole Bingeman, Sara Metzger, Jenny Newcombe, Christy Fleming, Paige Riley, Hunter Lee. Front Row: Ashley Forler, Taylor Dobie, Abbie Gray, Alex Ladd, Kristen Dahmann, Sara Martin, Megan Yake, Brittney Crawford. Coaches: Jon Fleming, Ted Martin, Mike Simons. Trainer: Darlene Dobie Mid-season finds the Lady Rangers Intermediate A team on track with our goals to compete at a high level in both league and tournament play. With an overall 18 – 8 – 7 record so far, the team has competed strongly in three tournaments. Our season-opener, the Clearview “Pink in the Valley” Tournament, was held in Alliston. The team dominated through the round robin before being upset 2 – 1 in an early morning semifinal by a motivated Durham West Lightning team. We had easily defeated Durham West 3 – 0 the night before so we got hit with a reminder of an important lesson — never underestimate your opponent! On the bright side, the tournament was an excellent team builder and provided

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lots of memories. Next was our home FallFest tournament where the competition was very strong. Close games were the norm through the round-robin portion in which our team ended up with two wins and two ties. This was enough to carry us through to the semifinals where we won an exciting game against the Peterborough Ice Kats 2 – 1 in overtime. In the final, we were up against our regular-season division rivals, St. Catharines where we lost in a close (2 – 1) game despite coming close to tying it up with our goalie pulled in the last minute. In the Guelph tournament, we entered as the defending champions. A great mix of US and Canadian teams made

for a fun tournament. We finished first in the round robin capped by a big win over Saugeen Maitland to earn a bye to the final. This was only Saugeen’s second loss of the year. In the final, Saugeen came back strong with a 4 – 0 win to take the tournament over an injury-depleted Kitchener squad. The team headed into the Christmas break in a strong league position with games in hand and expectations of finishing at, or near, the top of the division by the time playoffs come around. Strong team chemistry and leadership by all the girls has made for a very strong formula for success. We are looking forward to finishing strong and achieving the goals we set at the start of the season.


teamprofiles

Rangers win Guelph PowerPlay Championship!

The Kitchener Jr Rangers Red beat the Kanata Blazers 3-1 to win the Guelph PowerPlay Championship! The Rangers are now Bradford Blue and Gold, Cambridge MD Festival and Guelph PowerPlay champions, completing a 3-peat in tournament play. The team members really came together, overcoming a lot of adversity and challenges in reaching their goals. The Guelph tournament was perhaps the most challenging as the Rangers faced some really great teams. In the championship game, the Rangers started down by a goal before coming alive. Braydon Houlihan tied the game

Coughlin, Jacob Fisher and Justin Hay killed penalties and back checked all night and made plays that win championships. However, it would have been all for nothing had Hayden Smith not put in his best game, especially in the first period saving his team. The game could have been out of reach but he battled hard and really came up huge when the team needed him most. He was the player of the game. Carter Niall, chosen by his coaches, was awarded the Player of the Tournament hat. He played a dominate tournament and has really started to lead by example and shown to be an unselfish player for the Rangers. Niall worked hard, used his teammates and did whatever his coaches asked of him. The coaches are very proud of all the players for their commitment and hard work. It truly is a pleasure working with such great people. Next, the Rangers will be in Brantford challenging for the Gretzky Championship!

after an impressive carry into the zone towards the net before banking it off the Blazers’ goalie. The goal set the stage for Carter Bowman to get the winner as he streaked in down the wing and buried a beauty. His goal was assisted by Keenan Hack after a fantastic defensive play. Nicholas Zammit showed character in the dying minutes forcing the Blazers into mistakes and broke down the ice alone for an empty net goal after Yianni Peppas made a smart play to help Zammit get free. The Rangers really stuck to their game plan and dominated the defensive zone. Rashaun Williamson and Noah Park were masters at clearing pucks and making smart decisions. Logan Hock finished the tournament playing better each game and was great in the final moments. Joshua McDonald played hard minutes in stressful moments and was a steady calming presence. Brett Herniman and Denver Heiman proved again that they are two of the toughest players to get the puck away from as they controlled the offensive pressure in the Blazers zone. Connor

Go Rangers Go!

Major Atom A Jr. Rangers are now Oktoberfest Tournament Champions Submitted by the team’s coaches: Tim, Ian and Milan It is truly amazing to see when a group of fine young boys come together and play like a team, at just the right time — exactly what happened for the Major Atom A squad during the Kitchener Oktoberfest Tournament held on the weekend of Oct. 21 – 23. The continued emphasis on team work and puck movement during practices really paid off, as the boys won four straight games during the round-robin portion against fast, physical teams from Caledon, Erindale, Amherst and Hillcrest.

On Sunday morning, the Jr. Rangers squared off against the North Toronto Nationals in the semi-finals, and secured their spot in the championship game with some aggressive fore-checking and incredibly strong play from the D-corps. Sunday afternoon provided a highly entertaining championship game and Grand River Arena was “electric” with the music blaring from the speakers and the energy from the crowd. Facing off against the undefeated Riverside Rangers, the hometown Jr. Rangers never relinquished the lead. With the help of some timely goals and solid goaltending, the boys pulled out a hard-

fought, 3 – 2 victory claiming the 2016 Oktoberfest Tournament Championship! A big “thank you” to all for coming out and supporting the team; we truly appreciate it. A huge “congratulations” to the boys for their dedication, effort, and never-give-up attitude. We are so very proud of you!

Keep it going fellas!

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teamprofiles

Minor Midget AAA team keeps rolling The Kitchener Jr. Rangers Minor Midget AAA team headed into the Allstar Break weekend in early December sitting in second place in the Alliance standings after an extremely busy schedule. The hockey club faced its second set of four league games in five nights and then, to top it off, played host to a team from Lethbridge (Alberta) for five games in six nights including four straight games in a row. With little practice time over the previous six weeks, the team managed to stay within the top three of the Alliance league standings. The team was also a consistent member of the Alliance Top 5 bi-weekly rankings since the start of the season — this despite the club playing only part of one game (two periods of a tournament game) all season with a full AAA roster after starting to be hit by injuries in August.

Hosting the Lethbridge Hurricanes The Jr. Rangers hosted the Hurricanes, a top-three finisher in the Alberta Bantam Provincial Championships last year, as the Albertans travelled to Ontario to participate in the Silverstick Tournament (November 23 to 27). Despite Kitchener playing four games in a row, and five games in six nights, our boys managed to skate with the big, fast Lethbridge club for two periods before running out of gas. The close game ended with Lethbridge winning 3-0 and tuned up for the Whitby Silverstick who beat them in their semi-final matchup.

Minor Midgets named to All-Star Weekend The Minor Midget AAAs had eight players selected to participate at the Alliance All-star Weekend (Dec. 3 – 4) in Waterloo. The Jr. Ranger players were forwards Justin McCombs, Cole

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MacKay, Eric Maltby, Cole Schwindt, and Zach Russell, defensemen Danny Heath and Jameson Mitchell and goaltender Corson Marit. The All-Star Weekend featured four teams competing in an eight-game, tournament-style competition over two days. The Alliance Hockey Minor Midget AAA League has a total of 12 teams and, while the event showcases the talent that exists within the league, it is also a component of the Program of Excellence that includes the OHL Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the initial step towards the Hockey Canada U17, U18 and World Jr. Teams. The OHL Gold Cup is an eight-team tournament that Kitchener is hosting in May 2017 at Activa Sportsplex. Representatives from Hockey Canada use the event to scout and evaluate players for selection to attend the National Program of Excellence summer evaluation in Calgary in July. There will be 100 players from across Canada at this week-long event as part of the National U-17 Program. Jr. Rangers Head Coach Dean DeSilva is the head coach of Team Alliance while Kitchener’s Goalie Coach, Marc McCallum, is Team Alliance’s goalie coach for the event. This will be Dean

and Marc’s third time representing Kitchener Jr. Rangers at the event. Dean was an assistant coach in 2014 when the team won bronze and head coach in 2015 when the team captured silver. Marc was the goalie coach in 2015 and 2016 when Team Alliance earned silver medals. Kitchener’s Minor Midget program has sent 18 players to the Alliance AllStar weekend over the past three years (4 in 2013, 7 in 2014 and 7 in 2015). The Jr. Rangers have had five players advance to Team Alliance OHL Gold Cup Team and two KJR Minor Midget alumni have advanced to the National Camp in Calgary (defenceman Nic Hague 2013 and forward Owen Lane 2014). Nic Hague played for Team Canada at the World U17 tournament in 2014 and is expected to be selected in this year’s NHL entry draft.

Minor Midgets give back to the community Playing hockey for the Kitchener Jr. Rangers Minor Midget AAA team isn’t just about games, practices and tournaments. The players realize the importance of family and community so


teamprofiles they give back to the community each holiday season.

Secret Santa Toy Drive with Country 106.7 The players realize the importance of the holiday season and how fortunate they are to have strong family support and means to play hockey. Many families within our community don’t have an opportunity to wake up to find lots of gifts under their tree on Christmas morning. Each year our players donate an unwrapped gift/toy for the local radio station’s toy drive. This is done in place of a secret Santa gift exchange amongst the players. The team’s captains and assistants deliver the gifts, on behalf of the team, to Mike Farwell at radio station FM 106.7. While

the players don’t know which family receives the gifts, they do know that, somewhere within the community, their generosity has made a difference to a young boy or girl.

an hour and by the end of the session the pushers were put away and a game took place. Of the nine participants, four of them are now sponsored and play in KMHA house league. When this event takes place, I’m not sure whose smiles are bigger: the participants playing for the first time, the players or the parents in the stands. Many of the parents are teary-eyed — witnessing their sons and daughters participate, smiling, laughing and achieving success!

Give It a Try Program Our “Give It a Try Program” is something that our team is exclusively involved in. Last year was its inaugural run and it was a tremendous success. This program allows kids who can’t afford to play hockey the opportunity to play and learn the game. Minor hockey donates the equipment so participants are outfitted from head to toe for the ice session. Last year, many of the participants had never put any hockey equipment on before. The Minor Midget players worked with them for

Invitation Come out and support your Kitchener Jr. Rangers Minor Midget AAA team as they push for a long playoff run in the New Year!

sportsnews

GHWHL 2016/17 champions! The Kitchener Lady Rangers, newcomers to the Golden Horseshoe Womens Hockey League (GHWHL), claimed the championship title! Congratulations to the Lady Rangers in their inaugural season! The Lady Rangers hosted the London Devilettes for an exciting, hard fought battle between the top finishers after round-robin play at the league’s championship tournament. The event, held over the weekend of March 26 – 28, took place at the Burford Community Centre and Arena. Lady Rangers’ Michele Strudwick, with assists from Kaitlin McDonell and Allison Galloway, opened the scoring early in the second period. Myriah Kay, with help from Kaitlyn Maddigan and Amber Beattie, responded for the Devilettes late in the second. Kitchener opened up the game early in the third period with a goal from Alanah Walls assisted by Amanda Chiarello and

Also, congratulations to the London Devilettes for finishing first overall at the end of the regular season with a record of 19 wins, 3 losses and 6 ties.

Jessica Platt. This was followed by Amanda Parkins’s goal, (assisted by Kate Sinclair) and then Janna Harbin finished off the scoring with an empty netter. Final score — 4 to 1 for Kitchener!

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behindthebench

Development role — progression

As KMHA enters the midpoint of the season, it is easy to look at wins and losses to determine success. However, real success comes from progression. Watching our volunteers spend hours on the ice with all of rep, house league and local league teams you can see the progression first-hand. As I watch teams skate in games or practices, it is easy to see the progression of skills that are being developed. The coaching staffs have worked extremely hard to develop the skill base and fundamentals of our programs and they’re doing a fantastic job. Many may not understand or agree with small-area structure, stations or drills. They may not understand the importance of small-area or crossice games, however all of these have a large impact on players as they develop and grow — especially at the younger ages. Small-area stations and games focus on repetition and skill development. The emphasis is on players touching the puck and enhancing all of their skills and hockey senses that are necessary as they grow and develop. It is the way the game has changed. Players develop through repetition and consistency. KMHA coaches have bought into focusing on the fundamentals and skills of their teams in a greater sense over systems. While there is always a place for systems, it takes a backseat to fundamentals at the younger ages. In prior years, teams would get caught in their own zone and parents would scream from the stands, coaches would scream from the bench and players would get discouraged. Everyone asked, “What’s wrong with our defensive zone

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coverage? Why can’t we get out of our end?” In the simplest form, if players are unable to control the puck when they get possession, quite often under pressure in a small confined area, and can’t make one or two good passes they won’t get out of their end. It has nothing to do with systems, but rather the basic fundamentals of puck possession, puck control, passing and support. When we watch the Kitchener teams now, we see the players with more confidence at the younger ages progressing in games because the coaches have taken the time to structure a good portion of their practices to small-area skill development. Many of our younger teams are stronger on their skates then their opponents due to our power skating program. Other associations are taking notice and starting to implement their own development and power skating programs. Similar to how the USA has closed the gap, or succeeded us (Canadians) in some opinions, other associations are implementing the same measures. Kitchener must continue to push forward to enhance our programs and develop our younger players each year to stay ahead of the curve. Hockey is ultimately a number of one-on-one battles and if players haven’t developed the fundamentals they won’t be able to control the puck in these smallarea battles and won’t have success. You’ll see us continue to push for skill development and repetition of these skills in small-areas situations to better develop KMHA’s players of the future. KMHA had this in mind when we ran our first PD Day Skills Session on November 18 at Activa. Over 100

Submitted by Dean DeSilva, KMHA Director of Development

participants, divided into four age groups from Novice to Bantam, took part in a skills session during a day off school. The session had participants divided into small groups of 4 to 6 players and a goalie where stationary passing, movement passing, shooting and puck control skills were enhanced through repetition over a 90-minute ice session. While working in small groups, players had a puck on their stick 90 percent of the time and worked on their skating edges — definite improvement was noted with each player! There will be three more similar Skill Days taking place on January 4, 6 and 27. Be sure to watch the website to register. The KMHA shooting gallery should now be available for use by all teams. The shooting gallery allows players to enhance their shooting technique and strength through repetition of shots at a distance of 10 to 20 feet from the net. Teams requested to contact the hockey office to book their time. The only organization that provides something for everyone under one roof is KMHA. It is something that makes our organization truly unique and we should be extremely proud of the fact that we provide the opportunity for everyone, from all walks of life, to enjoy the great game of hockey. On any given day throughout the hockey season, you’ll see the many smiling faces of players coming through the IP program, Rookie Rangers to the Jr and Lady Rangers program, our girls’ Local League, boys’ House League, 4-on-4 and of course, the Ice Pirates. These are programs that we should embrace and be proud of. No other association offers what KMHA offers.


sportsfiles

A weekend in Chicago the Major Atom AAA team won’t forget

Submitted by Jason Gruetzmacher The Kraut Year continued in early November with the Bauer World Hockey Invite (BWHI). Our Major Atom AAA players and their families packed up their suitcases, dusted off their passports and birth certificates, and headed across the border to the great city of Chicago just as the Cubs were winning their first World Series in more than 100 years (108 if you prefer to be exact).

Our boys did not let any World Series celebrations get in the way of the tournament however, as they rattled off their first five-game win streak of the year! The fun part of a tournament like this is seeing teams you would not otherwise come across and the BWHI did not disappoint with our Jr. Rangers facing teams from Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Carolina. After a great run to the semifinals, they dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to another Alliance team,

Huron Perth. Needless to say, there were some sad faces after that tough loss but as parents we could not have been more proud of the effort and the teamwork displayed all weekend long. As a cherry on a cake soured by the ending, some of the boys got to see an NHL game complete with a visit to the dressing room before leaving town. This was truly a weekend no one will soon forget!

Great job Jr Rangers!

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Get in the Game! CONTACT • Brad Eason - brad@sportsxpress.ca • Erin Kummer - erink@sportsxpress.ca Get Connected to KW & Stratford: www.waterloo.sportsxpress.ca

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Novice Lady Rangers Red brings home the gold

Submitted by Team Manager Jenn Carpenter The weekend of January 6 – 8, 2017 is one that will always be happily remembered by our team. Our Lady Rangers played their hearts out in the Woodstock Wildcats Tournament. It was a weekend packed with lots of excitement, cheering and celebration. The team’s four-game round robin started on Friday at 8 a.m. against The Tillsonburg Lightning. Little did the girls know that this would be the beginning of a fantastic winning streak. They had their game faces on and were fearless in beating Tillsonburg 5 – 1. Their game that evening against Burlington Teal Tigers was another amazing one. Their 6 – 1 victory instilled confidence and excitement about the rest of the weekend. The girls really meshed as a team and had each other’s backs on the

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ice. It was wonderful to see all our firstyear girls fully engaging in the play and fighting for the puck. Saturday’s game against the B.A.D Blazers was intense, but a great game to watch. Some girls provided strong defensive play, while others worked hard to control the play with the puck. The team came back from a two-goal deficit to finish ahead 5 – 3. Their fourth game, played against Niagara Falls Rapids, ended with an amazing 9 – 0 win. Our Lady Rangers were ecstatic to make it to the semifinals — for repeat tilt with the B.A.D Blazers at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Our Lady Rangers have a history of making it to the semifinals and then being beat out. This weekend, all the coaches, parents and players were of one mind, “This time we are going to break this curse and win this tournament.” Five a.m. came very early and nothing

could have prepared us for the drive we were about to endure. It was dark and visibility was frightening because you couldn’t see a foot in front of you in the blowing snow. By the time the team arrived at the arena and we all looked around at one another, words didn’t have to be spoken. We knew what each other was thinking and feeling because we all just experienced the same crazy stormy drive. Nerves were shot and our adrenaline was pumping! It would soon be game time so we knew we had to turn these nerves into positive energy for the girls. Just as the song goes, the girls were ready to “win, win, win,” no matter what! They played exceptionally well and successfully broke the semifinal curse! With their 5 – 2 win, it was official, the girls were in the final at 3:00 where they’d face the Woodstock Wildcats. Hearts were pumping and the crowd was going wild just waiting for the puck to drop. We scored 7:15 minutes into the game and added two more to lead 3 – 0 by the end of the first period! Kitchener fans were kept jumping with excitement as our girls kept up the attack right to the final buzzer and a phenomenal 7 – 0 score to win the championship gold! What a thrill it was to see all their faces beaming with pride as they waited to receive their gold medals. Congratulations Lady Rangers Red for your great teamwork! You played your hearts out and you brought home the gold!


teamprofiles

Kitchener Lady Rangers Midget Blue team wins Lakeshore Lightning 3rd Annual Tournament During the weekend of November 18-20, the Kitchener Lady Ranger Local League Midget Blue team participated in the 3rd Annual Lakeshore Lightning Hockey Tournament in Lakeshore, Ontario. The girls were placed in the Intermediate division for the tournament. In their first matchup against the Lakeshore Lightning White team, the girls worked hard and never gave up. They scored the tying goal with 25 seconds left in the game making it 2-2. The next day, the girls faced the Lakeshore Lightning Blue team and, although the girls played extremely well and outplayed the other team, there were a few bad bounces and they finished on the losing end, 3-1. The third and final game of the round robin, the girls played the London Devilettes and they came ready to play. Due to goals for and against, the girls not only had to win the game, but had to win by five goals in order to move on to the championship game. At the end of the second period, the Lady Rangers were up 3-1. The girls knew what they had to do and turned it up a notch. By the final buzzer, it was 6-1!

For the championship game on Sunday, the girls were a little tired from giving it their all for the first three games, but came to give it their best. After the first two periods, the Lady Rangers were down 2-0. The girls were exhausted, banged up and had even lost two players to injury by this point of the game. The girls stepped up, played as a team, scored two big goals and ended regulation tied at 2-2. The game went in to sudden-death overtime 4-on-4 with neither team

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scoring forcing a second overtime period (3-on-3), again with no team scoring. Then came the sudden-death shoot out in which each team shot simultaneously. Finally, in the seventh round of shooters, the Lady Rangers were victorious and tournament champions! Congratulations to the Kitchener Lady Ranger Midget Blue team for their championship win — a welldeserved victory earned by playing hard as a team.

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sportsfiles

Moving on from my playing career The last competitive game of my career was played on Sunday, March 5, 2017 — and now it’s all setting in. Actually, it set in as I watched the puck sail into the top right corner of the net in overtime and the final buzzer went — the final buzzer for 15 years of my life. Time moves forward and stops for nothing for no one. Before you know it, something you thought would never end has come to an end. Whenever I close my eyes, I can see it — the high ceilings, the bright lights — everything! I can feel the warm chill of the ice and the crowd. I can feel the sweat trickle down my face and hear the sound of steel scraping on the ice. Ah, the bittersweet symphony of emotions I shared with teammates and, better yet, family members. Then I open my eyes and reality comes back. Something I never thought would end has come to an end. Fifteen Years! I wonder how many times I’ve laced up the skates, how many passes, how many hits, how many wins and how many losses. My life as a hockey player, which I clung to so dearly and worked so hard for, can now only be explored within my memory. It’s been hard because I’ve been through a lot. Nobody really understands what I went through: a new city, a room full of unfamiliar faces, a lonely and

empty feeling, and endless hours spent driving to play. I did this not once, not twice, but three times! It forces you to be older than your age and teaches a lot about life and suffering. It taught me a lot about myself and, at the end of the day, I am eternally grateful for the experience. It’s a long story, a 15-year long story. It’s made me feel like I was on top of the world and then, other times, in the bottomless pit of depression. I learned to be strong and never back down. I think that’s the point of hockey, and any sport for that matter. Boys come to the arena, have a hell of a ride, and leave as men prepared for the real world. I’m broken now — my legs are in rough shape and my knees are pained. I have scars arranged around my body — mementos and souvenirs each with a story to tell. I guess many years of physical work and persistence does that to you. Although I’m tired and strained, I feel stronger after my hockey run. It was a great run! Riley Cousineau the player will forever last in my memory as a symbol of my childhood. I feel like it’s not the end but the beginning of the next chapter in my life. For my entire life, hockey has been preparing me for the rest of my life! So, thanks hockey, thanks for everything. It has been an honour serving and a pleasure doing business with you.

Submitted by Riley Cousineau

Thank you mom and dad for your never-ending support and love. Thank you for taking me everywhere from London, to Pittsburgh, to Cleveland, to Ottawa and Timbuktu. Finally, thank you for encouraging me to see through the grey. Without you, this would not have been possible. I also extend my thanks to Sam and my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends for making time in your busy schedules to get to a game here and there. It means the world to me. Thank you to all my coaches, for teaching me all the valuable lessons that extend outside the rink and special thanks to Dan, Shawn, and Ralphie who provided me the best last year of hockey that I could ever ask for. Words cannot describe my gratitude! You guys renewed my faith and love for the game of hockey. You taught me to never stop grinding for what I want in life. I will never forget your effect on me. Finally, thanks to all my teammates and friends I’ve accumulated over the years. Thanks for the memories!. It’s amazing isn’t it, the power of sport! What a time it has been — the time of my life. That’s hockey for me, in a nutshell. Thank you hockey! We’ve had a long run you and I.

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sportsfiles

Lady Rangers Peewee B team — Ancaster Avalanche Fall Shootout champions Submitted by Sean Sutherland With the hockey season in full swing, the month of October saw our Peewee B Lady Rangers participating in several hockey tournaments throughout the province. At the annual Ancaster Avalanche Fall Shootout, the team went 3 – 0 in the round robin including a come from behind shootout win in the tournament opener. The Lady Rangers finished first in the pool, received a bye through the quarters and advanced directly to the semifinals. Once again, our Lady Rangers came

back late in the game to tie it up and send the game into extra time. After a five minute 4-vs-4 OT period, the game was still unsettled thereby requiring a second shootout of the tournament for the Lady Rangers. Scoring on their first two attempts and not allowing any against, the Lady Rangers won the game and advanced to the championship game. In the final, our Lady Rangers were a determined bunch. They jumped out to an early lead, never looked back and eventually won the game by a score of 4–1.

The 23rd Annual Kitchener FallFest Tournament This year has been another successful year for the FallFest Tournament. There were 70 teams within 12 divisions playing at nine arenas from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon. Success came early Sunday morning for our Kitchener teams. The Bantam A team came in first after the round robin with four victories. They faced off against the Markham-Stouffville Stars in the championship game. Kitchener had bettered Markham in the round robin with a 2 – 0 win but this time our opposition came out ready to play and was up 2 – 0 after one period. After a pep talk, Kitchener came out hungry for the second period, tying the game at two apiece by the end of the second. Kitchener took the lead 3 – 2 early in the third and held on for the gold medal. The Bantam BB team went undefeated in four round-robin games with three shutouts and then played a strong Wilmot team in the championship. Scoreless after one period, Kitchener took the lead half way through the second period. Wilmot, fighting hard, tied the game 1 – 1 before the period

scored with under two minutes gone in the third but Kitchener fought hard and scored in the middle of the period to tie it. Play was going back and forth but, with three minutes left in the game, St Catharines scored and held on for a 2 – 1 win. The Intermediate A team finished the tournament with a silver medal. One very important event held at the FallFest Tournament is the silent auction. Kitchener teams bring in items for auction while all tournament participants may bid on them with a portion of the proceeds going to the Donna Weber Foundation. This foundation assists families who cannot afford the full cost of playing hockey. This was another great auction year as over $1,800 was raised for the foundation. I would like to congratulate all of our Kitchener Lady Ranger teams for representing our centre so well. Also, a huge thank-you to all of the volunteers who helped make the tournament and auction run so smoothly. Thanks to our sponsors as well; your generosity went a long way in helping the families of Kitchener Minor Hockey.

ended. With no goals in the third, the game went into overtime. Just over a minute and a half into overtime, Kitchener scored to win the gold! The Kitchener Senior A team was a dominant force, going undefeated in the round robin with 16 goals for and only one against. They played the Brampton Canadettes in the gold medal game. Coming out strong, Kitchener took an early 1 – 0 lead just over a minute into the game and led 2 – 1 by the end of the first. With Kitchener dominating the play, Brampton’s defence cracked late in the second, allowing two more goals so it was 4 – 1. No suspense here as Kitchener went on to take the gold with a 6 – 1 victory. Our Intermediate A team also did us proud. After going 1 – 0 – 2 in round-robin play, they won their quarter-final game 3 – 1 against Brampton. They continued their winning ways Sunday morning by defeating Peterborough 2 – 1 in their semifinal. They then faced a very strong St. Catharines team in the championship. Kitchener was holding their own, tied 0 – 0 after two periods. St Catharines

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DONNA WEBER

MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT WHEN Friday May 12, 2017 Lunch at 12:00pm Shotgun Start 1:00pm Dinner at 6:00pm WHERE Rockway Golf Course

625 Rockway Drive, Kitchener, Ontario • $150.00 PER PERSON (Before April 15, 2017) • • $175.00 PER PERSON (AFTER APIL 15, 2017) • • PRICE INCLUDES: GREEN FEE,, CART, LUNCH & DINNER • • VARIOUS HOLE PRIZES • Register at:

http://kitchenerminorhockey.com/Forms/8617/2016_DK_Golf_Tournament_Reg/

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WELCOME TO THE 8TH ANNUAL DONNA WEBER MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT Big Webes Memorial Putting Contest Par 3 Presidential Shootout Prize For Each Golfer Participating

**All proceeds from the event will be donated directly to:

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