BURLINGTON, Ont. – The Thunder Bay Kings’ under-13 and U-15 teams saw their seasons come to a close Thursday as they wrapped up play at their respective All-Ontario provincial championships.
In Burlington, the U-13s were clipped 6-2 by the Ottawa Valley Titans in their opening game Thursday before dropping a narrow 4-2 result to the unbeaten Don Mills Flyers.
Versus Ottawa Valley, Thunder Bay struck first midway through the opening frame as Keegan Bragnalo made a strong move to his right and lifted in a backhander past Titans’ starter Brian Rathwell.
The Titans answered back with a pair of goals early in the middle stanza, including one while shorthanded, before Jake Ritson tied it five and a half minutes into the session as he worked the puck free and fired it upstairs on Rathwell from in close.
After another OVT offensive effort put them up 3-2 after two, they put the game away with a trio of quick tallies in the late going to earn the triumph.
Graeme Tenhunen, Matthew Backen and Jace Voortman were each credited with assists for the Kings.
Thunder Bay goaltender Charlie Weiss was saddled with the setback while Bragnalo garnered Kings’ player of the game laurels.
In the meeting with Don Mills, Caden McLeod put the Kings in front three minutes into the proceedings, as the defenceman unleashed a rising shot from the point that flew into the top-left corner.
The Flyers tied it with 10 seconds remaining in the first frame with a low spinning attempt from the high slot that found the right spot.
Moving to the middle session, the local side regained the lead, five seconds into a power play, as McLeod wired one off the post, but Ritson was right there to slam it in.
Don Mills got that back though, 6:17 into the third as they found their way free in front and chipped in the equalizer.
They then got the game-winner, in nearly identical fashion, with just 1:49 left on the clock, to help them improve to 6-0 at the seven-team event.
One final marker, into an empty net, just as time expired rounded out the night’s scoring.
McLeod was tabbed Thunder Bay’s player of the game.
Meanwhile at Middlesex Centre, outside of London, Ont., Thunder Bay’s U-15 side also saw their year wrap-up in a 3-1 defeat against Halton Hurricanes.
Nicholas Silvaggio had given the Kings a 1-0 first period lead but the Hurricanes sMARLed back with three unanswered markers to pull out the win.
Easton Mikus picked up the lone assist for his side while goaltender Chase Furlong faced 31 shots against in the season-ending defeat.
U-18 DISTRICT DATES: Due to the recent inclement weather, which has affected travel for the Kenora Thistles, the start of the Hockey Northwestern Ontario under-18 district AAA championship between them at the Thunder Bay Kings has been pushed back a day.
The best-of-three series, being held at Fort William First Nation Arena,
will now commence Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Game 1.
Game 2 is slated for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and if a third and deciding contest is needed, it will be held Easter Monday, at noon.
The HNO U-18 district champion will advance to the TELUS Cup West Regional, April 28 though May 1, in Virden, Man.
vs. Ottawa Valley
vs. Don Mills
All-Ontario U-13 AAA Championship
April 11-15: Burlington, Ont.
April 11: vs. Burlington Eagles (5-1 win)
April 12: vs. Soo Jr. Greyhounds (5-4 loss)
April 12: vs. Niagara North Stars (4-2 loss)
April 13: vs. Huron-Perth Lakers (3-0 loss)
April 14: vs. Ottawa Valley Titans (6-2 loss)
April 14: vs. Don Mills Flyers (4-2 loss)
All-Ontario U-15 AAA Championship
April 11-15: Middlesex Centre, Ont.
April 11: vs. Toronto Jr. Canadiens (15-0 loss)
April 12: vs. Ottawa Myers Automotive (3-2 loss)
April 12: vs. Huron-Perth Lakers (3-2 loss)
April 13: vs. Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (7-1 loss)
April 13: vs. North Bay Trappers (3-2 win)
April 14: vs. Halton Hurricanes (3-1 loss)
HNO U-18 AAA District Championship
April 16-18: Fort William First Nation Arena
Thunder Bay Kings vs. Kenora Thistles
Game 1: Saturday, April 16 – 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 17 – 1:30 p.m.
Game 3*: Monday, April 18 – 12 p.m.
Winners advances to TELUS Cup West Regional April 28-May 1 @ Virden, Man.