Bell Capital Cup bills itself as the world’s premier youth ice hockey tournament for the Atom (Squirt) and Peewee level, and with 380 teams representing five counties it is easy to see why. A division championship is only awarded to teams that have beaten some of the best squads in Canada and the United States.
This week the Wissahickon Warriors Squirt As played games on five different sheets of ice in snowbound Ottawa and advanced to the “Atom Major A” division championship game at Scotia Bank Place, the 20,000 seat home of the Ottawa Senators. The on-ice action blared from the jumbotron while the Warriors, dressed in white as the “home team”, sat on and switched lines from a Senators bench normally reserved for Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, and Erik Karlson. One Warrior was even sent to the penalty box to contemplate his penance like his NHL heroes. The game was live-streamed on the web and relatives and friends from Philadelphia as well as proud grandparents in Florida tuned in to watch the exciting game.
Their opponent was another American team: the Skyland Kings Wales of northern rural New Jersey, a squad that like Wissahickon, also got there by defeating several Canadian rivals.
Monday’s championship game was a seesaw match that featured excellent goaltending and skating, and with 2:10 left to go in the third period the Warriors knotted the game at 2-2. It looked like it was going to be another match going into overtime when shortly afterward the Kings rushed up-ice to put in the game-winner and it was their gloves, sticks and helmets which spattered the ice.
Despite the tough loss, the fun and excitement of the tournament, the camaraderie of the players, and the knowledge of how much they achieved left the players joyous as they accepted the Finalists trophy and individual awards at the end of the game. And they brought home one more item as well – a blue banner to hang on the wall at Wissahickon Skating Club commemorating their team and their accomplishment.
This Warriors squad, coached by Mike Hamilton and Johnathan Gingras, and managed by Brendan Kilfeather, featured the following players: Nicky Angelucci, Jake Armstrong, Cameron Dennis, Nathan Dennis, Rex Flinn, Eric Ford, Frankie Ford, Ryan Gingras, Liam Gross, Jack Hamilton, Luke Jaspan, Conor Kilfeather, Adam Smith andWill Vander.
The link to the Bell Capital Cup Tournament is below. The tournament featured teams from Canada, Finland, Germany and China, as well as the Commonwealths of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia and the States of California, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and New York.
Other DVHL teams that advanced in the tournament were the Hatfield Ice Dogs Squirt A team, which played in the Atom Minor A championship game and lost in double-overtime 2-1 to the Burlington Bulldogs, and the Delco Phantoms Peewee Major A, which won their championship game 3-0 over the Mississauga Ice Warriors.
For more information about Wissahickon Skating Club’s membership, hockey, figure, or synchro programs, please call the club at 215-247-1759 x.13, or visit the WSC website at www.wissskating.com.