For the first time, the Roughnecks sent teams to participate in the annual Jr. NLL Tournament in Oakville, Ont.
And one team brought home some hardware.
After a gruelling 3-day tournament from August 25-27, the Jr. Roughnecks Midget team was able to take down the Jr. Toronto Rock 7-5 to earn gold in their division.
The journey started on August 24, when the group of talented young men boarded a flight out east.
And they did it in typical Western style.
The tournament began on Aug. 25, with the Jr. Roughnecks Pee Wee, Bantam, and Midget squads participating in games against teams representing the Rock, Colorado Mammoth, Saskatchewan Rush, Vancouver Stealth, New England Black Wolves, Georgia Swarm, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, Edmonton and Philadelphia.
The Jr. Roughneck Pee Wee’s dropped their opening match 10-0 to the Jr. Stealth squad. With four games on Saturday, the Pee Wee team left everything they had on the floor, including a 12-7 win over the Jr. Knighthawks.
Forward Aubrey Piche was the top scorer for the Pee Wee’s, with five goals and seven assists in the team’s five games. Brock McIlwain (6g, 1a), Russell Bollinger (4g, 3a), Peyton Bohnet (2g, 3a), and Dylan Belliveau (1g, 4a) were the other top scorers on the team.
Moving up a level, the Jr. Roughnecks Bantam team came out firing at the tournament, winning their first four games and putting themselves atop their division entering the playoffs.
Unfortunately, a loss to the Jr. Stealth on Sunday would end their hunt for a medal.
Liam O’Hara led the Bantam squad with seven goals and eight assists in five games. Not far behind were Jaymon Kirbyson (3g, 6a), Tanner Park (5g, 3a), and Maximillian Janousek (4g, 3a).
With just one loss in their first four games, the Jr. Roughnecks Midget team looked like a team to beat heading into the playoffs.
Led by Marshall Bloomfield’s 23 points — the most in the entire tournament — they cruised past the Jr. Knighthawks and were able to win a back-and-forth affair with the Jr. Rock to claim the title.
Brydon Robichaud (6g, 5a), Davis Dame (7g, 2a), and Nolan Oakley (4g, 5a) were also major offensive contributors. While they provided the offence, goalie Jack Bruzell-Friesz was a wall in net, allowing just 16 goals in 160 minutes of playing time. He was named the MVP of the championship game.
All in all, the Jr. Roughnecks first trip to the Jr. NLL Tournament was a clear success.