A local team dominated the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship tournament in their division for the second year in a row.
The Woolwich Wildcats Minor Midget “A” hockey team handily defeated Guelph, Oakville, St. Thomas and Orillia to attain their win.
One of the parent-coaches says the accomplishment is a testament to the skill of the team.
“They all have that raw talent that you’d like to see. The real feature with these kids is that they’ve stayed together,” said coach Mark Lee. “They basically all go to high school together, they’re all a peer group together. They seem to know where each other is going to be on the ice. They work well together no matter what line combination is used.”
The team played Guelph Gryphons in the preliminaries, where they came out on top 4-2. This allowed them to move along to the quarter-finals, where they easily defeated Oakville Rangers Red 6-0. They went on to beat the St. Thomas Junior Stars 6-2.
In the final round against the Orillia Terriers, they crushed the final result with a 6-0 win. It is a bit of a streak for the team, who has won with the same core group of players in last year’s OMHA championships. Lee noted he had seen their skill progress over the years of coaching.
“Every year, we have a little turnover – we have some kids from out of town come in and fill out the ranks, again this year we had a good group of new kids, two or three new kids come in and fit in perfectly well, as they always seem to with this core group,” said Lee.
“They’re a good accepting group of kids that we have. They have had success again with that formula. They’re just a great group of kids, and they’ve mostly elected to stay here and stay together and had fun doing it.”
It is a group of four parent-coaches that lead the team. Another factor in their success is relationships that run smoothly, both on and off the ice.
“We don’t have any of the drama in the dressing room, even now that they’re older and more mature,” said Lee. “They just don’t have the conflict that you hear about, and we haven’t had the discipline problems that you may hear about in other teams.”
Both coaches and team members look to keep up the momentum in future years.