NORTH BAY - This past weekend the Ritchie Insurance Bantams travelled to North Bay with hopes of repeating as tournament champions.
Parry Sound opened the tournament versus the undefeated Temiskaming Shores Puckhounds. The Puckhounds grabbed a 1-0 lead which was quickly erased when Brad Thorton fed Cullen Buchanan with a breakaway pass that Buchanan converted by wiring a wrist shot top corner. Goaltender Justin Dawson and his counterpart were sharp to keep the game tied until midway through the third period. Tyler Kalbe gave Parry Sound the lead on a great drive to the net which he finished with a backhand over the Puckhounds’ netminder. Adam Badger and Josh Quinn assisted on the play. Quinn added an empty netter assisted by team captain, Dewey Tabobandung, to make the final 3-1 for Parry Sound. The Shamrocks showed discipline in earning a penalty free game.
Saturday morning the boys faced the West Nippising Sting. Adam Badger started the scoring assisted by Kalbe who also added a goal to make it 2-0 for Parry Sound. Ryan Archer extended the lead in the third converting a set-up from Noah Dudas. Ryan Bell scored to give Parry Sound a 4-0 lead and Josh Quinn rounded out the scoring after receiving a great pass from Badger on a 2 on 1. Graham Ritchie earned the shut-out in the 5-0 win.
In their evening match, the Ritchie Insurance Shamrocks faced Kapuskasing. A point shot by Bell which was tapped home by Quinn gave Parry Sound the opening goal of the contest and they never looked back. Anthony Gognavec joined the scoring late in the first and added another in the second. Dudas scored two and added an assist. The first Dudas goal was one for the highlight reels. Tabobandung started the play off with a beautiful stretch pass to Kalbe who dropped a no-look pass to Dudas.
He broke in from the blueline and deked the goalie out to finish off the play. Badger and Archer also scored while John Evans, Jake Maltas, Archer, Quinn, and Kalbe added helpers for Parry Sound who breezed to a 7-1 win. Dawson won his seventh game in seven starts this season.
Discipline, balanced scoring from all three lines, great goaltending, strong defence from the pairings of Jordan Lamers and Bell, Mitchell Jackson and Jason Meadowcroft, and Tabobandung and Thorton combined to give Parry Sound the best goal differential earning them the top spot out of ten teams in the round robin and a bye to the semi-finals.
The Shamrocks faced off against the tournament hosts, the North Bay Trappers, in the semis. Parry Sound created a number of good scoring chances but could not beat the Trappers netminder until the final minute of the second period. Dudas snuck one through the five-hole on the Trappers goaltender. That turned out to be all the scoring that the Shamrocks would need as Graham Ritchie played brilliantly to preserve the lead. Tyler Kalbe won a number of key face-offs in the dying minutes and the defence showed poise under pressure. The 1-0 win sent Parry Sound to the finals and a rematch with Temaskaming Shores.
The final between the two highest scoring teams in the tournament turned out to be a tight checking affair. The teams traded goals in the first. Parry Sound’s goal was another Dudas marker from Archer and Kalbe. After using the cycle to dominate the Puckhounds for an entire shift, the line of Gognovac, Archer and Kalbe combined to score the tournament winning goal. Kalbe fed a pass across the ice to Archer who hammered a one-timer into the top corner. Strong team defensive play and great goaltending by Dawson shut down the Puckhounds and locked up the win for the Richie Insurance Bantams.
The Bantams return home on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. to face South Muskoka.