Thoughts On OLA Qualifiers

Well it’s been a couple of days now and I’ve been asked by a few who I think will win and who will not. Rather than make guesses and upset some people I figured it would be better to highlight the teams and make some comments on each where possible. So, here goes:

Peewee

Clarington (1): These guys were great in the two weekends of games. Their only loss ironically came against Brampton who did not qualify. They also tied Six Nations Newmarket, and Orangeville but beat their rivals in Whitby (for the first time this season). They can win it all if they can play consistently throughout the Final six matchups.

Whitby (2): Things looked bleak after week one (3-3) and the boys in Red, White and Blue knew they almost had to run the table to get to go to Guelph. Run the table they did, but not without a little excitement. They had a large comeback win against Orangeville, aided by some untimely penalties taken by the Northmen. I’m not a huge believer in experience being a big factor when talking Peewee lacrosse. But if it is, these guys have a ton of it. Most of them have won the Provincials in Tyke and Novice so they could do it.

Orangeville (3): This was a really hard team to get a handle on. They lost to two teams (Oakville and Mississauga) that did not qualify. There only other loss was to Whitby, in a game they should have won. They have the tools and a good goalie, they just need to focus on each game, because they can beat every team there.

Six Nations (4): I honestly did not see any Six Nations Peewee games. But in looking at their scores they tied Clarington, and beat Whitby, while losing to Orangeville. So they too have the ability to run with the top teams, they just need to consistently.

Newmarket (5): My oh my, what an exciting team, and what an exciting time this must be in Newmarket right now. These kids and their parents / fans were on top of the world when they defeated Brampton to make it in to the final six. They’ve got some real skill players and the goalie I saw played very well. In a 5 game series where every game counts, don’t be too surprised if Newmarket steals some games from teams not on their toes. They should have beaten Clarington if not for a goal in the last couple minutes to tie it by the Gaels.

Burlington (6): This team is a pretty decent team, but their strength is in between the pipes. Yes, young Mr. Noseworthy is just a very polished goalie at the ripe old age of 12 (or at least turning 12). He was polished three years ago in Novice. I guess there is a reason he was the starter on the Peewee Team “O” squad last season….as a minor player. If his team can muster enough offence, and support him in the defensive end, Burlington could surprise as well.

Bantam

Six Nations (1): Well going undefeated, untied in 12 games certainly sends a message that you are the team to beat. And they are. Solid goaltending, very skilled players at both ends of the floor and they can pressure the ball……and get it back. They will be tough to beat.

Halton Hills (2): They have the size, they have the skills, and I believe they have the goaltending that they could win with. The challenge will be to bring it each and every game. They can but they will have to, because in this type of series you cannot have a bad game or it could really hurt you. Coach Nieuwendyk will have them ready and they can give the Nations a go.

Akwesasne (3): I heard rumours that some of the kids missed a game here and there in weekend two (not sure though). They lost some games that made me raise a brow, so if they were missing a few bodies, that would explain it. Many have commented that it could be an all ILA final, and it may just happen. Their goalie is a good one, and they play a lot of tight defensive zone to support him. They also have some great shooters on offense.

Whitby (4): They had some injury troubles week one but most were back healthy in week two. At one point (week two Sunday) they were in a must win position and they did just that. There is a great deal of experience (Championships in past years) and a lot of will to win. It will be tough going with all the teams in the final six, but nobody in here has an easy or free ride.

Brampton (5): They had wins over Whitby, Peterborough, and St. Catharines to get them in. At the same time they had trouble with Six Nations, Akwesasne and Orangeville. Consistency will be the key for them. I think they can be spoilers to a few teams, but I’m not so sure about a top two finish.

St. Catharines (6): A great job with some very impressive wins over very impressive teams to get here. I also don’t believe they are done just yet. They have very good goaltending, and very good size, with skills to boot. I believe they or Halton have the largest team and this will be a very physical weekend. They can handle it, and they just might surprise.

Midget

Whitby (1), Orangeville (2): Whitby is first only by way of the formula (they tied their game). You can flip flop these two and who knows who will end on top when they play next. Both teams have all the keys to be successful. I believe one of them will be but won’t pick which one.

Six Nations (3): They tied Orangeville so we know they can run with the top. Can they beat both Whitby and Orangeville? Well that’s why we play the games isn’t it? They can play.

Halton Hills (4): They tied Whitby so the same can be said for them with the top teams. They did however faulter against some others they should have beaten. Consistency again will be key here.

Brampton (5): Most every game of theirs was a close one. Will need to really step it up to make it to the top, but they can.

Peterborough (6): Another team that did well, but will need to step up to make it to the top. They have some very athletic guys, they need to all be on the same page to beat the likes of Whitby and Orangeville. They’ve beaten Whitby this year so they know what it takes.

Elora (7): For a team added the last weekend before the qualifiers they did a very admirable job. They had some big wins and did what was needed to get in. Can they win? Well in a way they’ve already won, by getting to the Summer Games. But I believe they will not simply rest just getting there and as I mentioned above that is why we play the games.

Akwesasne (8): Another team tough to get a handle on. They lost to some teams it looked like they should have beaten, and then beat some teams you would have thought they would not.  Again I heard they were missing a few players, but I’m not 100% sure.

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1 Comment

  1. When does the Final 6 schedule come out?? How many areanas are used in Guelph?


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