It was a historic year for Twin Centre Stars minor hockey as all three teams in the finals captured the Ontario Minor Hockey Association title as the best team in the province, the first time that three teams from Twin Centre have won the Ontario title it in the same year.
The Novice Rep team (7-8 years old) wrapped up their series against South Huron on Mar. 31 to take the series in four games, the Atom AE team (10-11 years old) finished up their series on Mar. 23 with a 5-0 win over Centre Hastings, and the Bantam Rep club (13-14 years old) finished off Blenheim on Mar. 27.
“That’s just amazing,” said Steve Krulicki, head coach of the Atom team. “To have three teams win in one year was amazing. There was a lot of excitement and a lot of buzz and lets hope the success continues and the fun continues next year.”
For the Novice Rep team the win finishes off what head coach Jamie Hislop called “the triple crown” of achievements for the 2011/2012 season. The team won the regional silver stick tournament late in 2011 and captured the international silver stick title in January in Michigan with a 5-0 record. The final component was the OMHA title, which they secured in front of a jam packed and enthusiastic home crowd last weekend.
“We really focused on a team atmosphere,” said Hislop. “The listened to everything we taught them and just went out and executed.
“It was a total team effort.”
The Atom club also had the opportunity to finish its series on home ice to a crowded arena, and didn’t disappoint, capping off a successful season that saw them finish with a record of 17-4-1 in the regular season and a perfect 15-0-0 in the playoffs.
“It feels great, it’s amazing,” said Krulicki, who won an OMHA title 20 years ago while playing in Kitchener and whose team was allowed to use the Applejacks’ dressing room during the game.
“Winning it as a player is amazing. You kind of forget over 20 years, but it was great to be a part of this and help the kids grow and get better.”
The road to the OMHA title wasn’t an easy one for the Bantam club. In their 13 playoff games, the team was either losing or tied heading into the third period on eight occasions, but managed to battle back for a 7-0-1 record in those games.
Head coach Brock Gerber said the team’s “never say die” attitude was apparent nearly every night.
“It was a great year of hockey with a dedicated group of players,” he said. “You’d need some luck, but I think it was mostly hard work by the kids and determination.”