Thoughts On 2009 Qualifier One – Bantam

1. Halton Hills (5-1) – The defending champs at this age in Peewee only lost to Guelph (4-1) in week one. But they had a bit of a scare from Nepean. It was likely tired legs but the Knights had them 0-0 after two periods. Their schedule was neither really tough or really easy (is there such a thing), so week two should be the same mixture of games. No doubt they should be in the top six, and likely near the top heading to Provincials. I cannot give them the team to beat honour, that must go to another at this point. They are currently at the top because of the three way tie, and the formula results.

2. Whitby (5-1) – A solid week for the home town kids, but they will have to temper their excitement until after week two. With games remaining against the two teams they share top spot with, as well as Peterborough, Orangeville, Nepean, and Oakville, this record after week one was a necessity. Played a great game against Kitchener, but were lucky against St. Catharines, and not so lucky against Mimico (6-2 loss). They will have to bring their best effort in every week two game or this position could quickly slide out of their hands. Their best players were their best players in week one, and they need to continue to be.

3. Guelph (5-1) – Beat Halton and looked good against everyone else except Kitchener. Their zone foes got the better of them (7-1) for their only loss. Their week two schedule will be tougher as well but having only lost to Kitchener this year, they are the team to beat. Big, strong, and fast is what these guys are all about. The only knock on them might be their lack of discipline. If they lose control, and spend too much time on the far side of the floor (the sin bin), they could run into trouble. Teams can kill you on the PP in Bantam.

4. Kitchener (4-2) – Cinderella is at the ball. For those who think teams should not play A ball if they do not do well at qualifiers, ask this team their thoughts. Last season, the Kitchener Bantams played A, and while I am not so sure of their record, they did not come close to qualifying. This season I am saying they will. I absolutely love watching this team. Good size, speed, and goaltending. They also seem to have the consensus favourite figured out (I believe they have beaten them twice this year). They also had a pretty tough week one and are at 4-2. Their losses were to the current 1-2 positions. Watch out. They seldom lack a solid effort.

5. Mimico (3-2-1) – A tough team to read. They beat Whitby, Orangeville and tied Peterborough, then lost to Halton and Oakville. Their week two schedule will be about the same on the difficulty scale, so this team is right on the verge of getting in or being out. They play physical, and have a good goalie. If they are consistent week two, they should get in and depending on others, could move up slightly.

6. West Durham (2-2-2) – They are in…for now! Had a lead late on Clarington that ended tied, and then had to score late to tie London. Lost to Whitby but smashed Peterborough. Got the better of Oakville but then gave one to Nepean. Who knows? Week two is tougher than week one was. If they lose to Halton, Guelph and Kitchener, those two ties could come back to bite them.

7. Orangeville (3-3) – Ritchie is gone, but not their determination. Their three losses were by a combined six goals. And they are another team that can say week two should be about the same schedule wise for them. They have to win the games they should win, and play hard.  I see them getting in.

8. Peterborough (2-3-1) – What the heck happened to them? Their only wins were against Clarington and London (by a goal). Week two they still must face Whitby, Guelph, Orangeville and Kitchener. They had better bring a better effort in all four of those, plus St. Catharines, Oakville or they are done. They are in tough.

9. London (2-3-1) – First, what an emotional Friday that must have been for them. After attending a visitation for the mother of one player, they make the trek here and play Peterborough to a one goal game. Great for them. As for the rest of the way, they still have some tough games ahead, but I see a few teams ahead of them now that could potentially fall. A top six finish might be too much given their current record, but it is not out of the realm of possibility.

10. Oakville (2-4) – Hey these guys had a pretty tough week one. Week two is not a ton easier but a little lighter. This was a top four team two years ago, but they did a lot of that using Offense / Defense. They cannot do that anymore (until Midget), and that might be hurting them a bit.

11. Nepean (2-4) – Okay so they beat Peterborough and West Durham (potentially killing both of their chances of advancing), but then lose their other four. No disrespect at all to the other four, but if they could have even scraped out one more win, they would be much better off. Week two has Whitby, Guelph, Kitchener, Mimico, Orangeville and St. Catharines. Tough schedule.

12. Clarington (1-4-1) – This was a shock to me and I am sure them as well. It was a tough schedule but there were some winnable games and they did not do that. With Halton, Kitchener and Mimico still on the list to play, they are in trouble (London, St. Catharines, Oakville as well). The tie to West Durham might be the kicker. Running the table in two weeks would put them at 7-4-1 and that might still not be enough to get in.  It is scary when you no longer control your own destiny.  Too many teams are ahead of them, and way too many scenarios.  But just win, and you never know.

13. St. Catharines (0-6) – I applaud them for two things. They have been the B Champs in both Novice and Peewee at this age, so taking the leap to A is a great thing for them. They also by my account played the weekend with only 12 runners. That is a lot to ask. But they were in against some solid teams week one as well. Qualifying will not be in the cards this season, but with a big, fast, physical team like this; watch out. Read my notes on Kitchener from last season, this will likely be St. Catharines in the coming season(s).

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14 Comments

  1. Guelph is good. Really good. I don’t know about there goalie, though. He looks like if you got him moving, he would be easy to score on.

  2. Mimico is good, but part of their game is rattling the opponent and drawing the penalties. If you let this work, you’ll spend a lot of time in the penalty box and that will help their game be even better. Stay out of the box and that will help some.

  3. Can you update the ramifications of the misconduct handed out to #7 for Guelph during the Halton /Guelph game. As this directly related to your comments of their discipline problems. He is such a great impact player and does not need to resort to dirty play

  4. Actually I did not know he received a game misconduct penalty. I did not see that game as my son was playing at the same time.

    Not knowing how / why he received the misconduct, I guess we will have to wait and see if anything more is handed down.

    • automatic match for a butt end. He could be gone for a few games.

  5. He butt ended #13 from Halton in the face, giving him some nasty cuts and a bruised up nose.

  6. in west durhams 2 ties they were up 2-0 on london and 4-1 on clarington, what happened? they rin into penalty trouble or goalie break? just wondering as they qualified second 2 years ago

  7. automatic match for a butt end he should be gone for a few games.

  8. What happened to Orangeville, in Peewee they won Provincial Silver.?

  9. Hi there,

    WD had 2 houseleague players playing for them ( legs are legs), had the one of the goalies playing out….. averaged 11 runners per game of which only 8 are healthy… lost a player in game 3 to an injury…..boys are gased by the 3rd of every game playing like this. WD when healthy is very good team.

  10. just wondering how the final 6 works are there rankings. or will it start again at an even playing field

    • Actually, there really is not an advantage as all 6 teams play each other again, and the top two play for the big prize.

      The teams are ranked 1-6, and some would say the schedule might be better for the team ranked first, but with everyone playing everyone again, nothing is easier for any of the teams in my opinion.

  11. Looking forward to reading the comments after round 2…WD looks like a strong contender after their weekend play..shut outs don’t come to often

    • I too hope Marksy posts his thoughts on Week 2 and beyond.


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