These are interesting times indeed in the SDSSAA boys hockey league.
For starters, the Horizon Aigles solidified themselves as a bonafide city championship contender, following up a huge 2-1 win over the St. Charles College Cardinals two weeks ago with a gold medal performance, this past weekend, at the NDA (Nipissing District Athletics) Boys High School Hockey Tournament in North Bay.
The Aigles opened with a 3-1 win over the St. Joseph Scollard Hall Bears, receiving a two-goal performance from Eric Frappier and a solo marker from defenceman Samuel Saumure.
The team went two for two on Thursday, doubling the Central Algoma Huskies 4-2, with Caleb Langlois, Gavin Roy and Andrew Demers all joining Saumure on the scoresheet for the winners.
The depth of the Horizon offense was on display on Friday as three newcomers to the goal scoring brigade enter the fray in a 6-3 triumph over the Widdifield Wildcats. Mathieu Poliquin and Caleb Rainville showed the way with two goals apiece, with Cédrick Jutras and Gavin Roy chipping in with a singleton each.
The Horizon lads cranked it up to a whole other level in the quarter-finals, blasting the Espanola Spartans 6-0 as Owen Kilganon recorded the shutout and Gavin Roy (2), Caleb Rainville (2), Andrew Demers and Caleb Langlois all found the back of the net for the Aigles.
On to semi-final Saturday, where the Aigles disposed of the St. Benedict Bears in workmanlike fashion, carving out a 5-2 win on the strength of goals from Caleb Rainville (2), Samuel Saumure, Gavin Roy and Evan Byers.
Pitted against Central Algoma in the finals, the Val Caron representatives were not about to allow the Huskies a shot at revenge for their earlier loss, downing the north shore squad 3-1, as Andrew Demers scored twice, and Eric Frappier registered the remaining goal.
Gavin Roy was recognized as tournament MVP, edging out several very deserving teammates, as Horizon now joins the St Charles College Cardinals at the Father Mac Tournament in Niagara Falls later this week.
Speaking of the Cards, it's been tough sledding of late for coaches Rob Zanatta, Darren Michelutti, Casey Thompson and company. On the heels of their loss to Horizon, the 2018-19 city finalists and NOSSA champs settled for a 4-4 tie with the hard charging Bishop Carter Gators, before falling 4-2 to the Lively Hawks on Tuesday.
Tyler Bell, Spenser Dickson, Brek Morrow and Caleb Poulin-Hawes handled the attack for Lively, who solidified their bid for a Division "A" post-Christmas berth, improving to 6-1-0 with the win.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes overcame a 4-0 deficit after two periods of play, earning a 4-4 tie with Espanola at the Cambrian Arena.
A pair of goals from captain Colin Withers and solo efforts from Dylan Herbert and Jacob Campbell had vaulted the Spartans into the lead, before CND stormed back with goals from Sean Jansen (who also added a pair of assists), Ethan Corcoran, with two, and the equalizer courtesy of blueliner Josh Martin.
Espanola sits in a tie for fourth place at 4-2-2, one point ahead of Bishop Carter (4-3-1), who received two goals from Jason Marmen and one each from both Blake Cornthwaite and Owen Guse, earning the draw with SCC.
Braeden Watson countered with a two-goal performance for the Cardinals, with Logan Faught and Jordan Faught also fighting their way into the goal column.