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Brantford soars past West London Hawks to earn U-16 title at Gretzky Tournament

Brantford 99er'sBrantford soars past West London Hawks to earn U-16 title at Gretzky Tournament

Brantford U-16 B/BB 99ers captured the championship at the 52nd Wayne Gretzky International Hockey Tournament with a 5-3 win over the West London Hawks on Friday, December 29, 2023.

The majority of the first period saw both teams working on the defensive as they attempted to maintain control of the puck.

99ers Ethan De Dominicis realizes that William Stapleton of the West London Hawks scored the first goal of the championship game during the Wayne Gretzky Tournament on Friday, December 29, 2023.

After struggling to follow through with several scoring opportunities on both ends, with nearly two minutes left of the first, it was London’s William Stapleton who scored the first goal of the game.

With the score sitting at 0-1, the game moved into the second and the West LondonHawks continued to hold their ground in the offensive zone, testing 99ers goalie Ethan De Dominicis with back-to-back tries. 

Ethan De Dominicis of the 99ers prepares to block a goal during the U-16 championship game at the Wayne Gretzky Tournament on Friday, December 29, 2023.

Despite the growing pressure and several penalty issues, the 99ers continued to push forward and it wasn’t long before they were rewarded for their efforts.

Noah Oosterhoff, with an assist from Tyler Vandersar and Austin Smith, scored the first goal for the hometown team with ten minutes left.

Feeling the heat, West London Hawks player William Stapleton managed to score his second goal of the night just moments later.

Not being one to back down, 99ers Mitchell Potter, with an assist from Fraser Torek, brought the score back to a tie with just under five minutes left of the second stanza.

Going into the third tied 2-2, 99ers were determined to apply the pressure and with just under 11 minutes left, Owen Legere, with an assist from Smith and Vandersar, brought the team back into the lead with a score 3-2.  Three minutes later, 99ers Nathan Bonney, solidified another goal for Brantford.

Nathan Bonney of the 99ers brings the score to 4-2 during the U-16 championship game at the Wayne Gretzky Tournament on Friday, December 29, 2023.

Feeling the heat, London’s Maxwell Hunter, scored his first goal of the game, bringing the score to 4-3.

Moving into the final two minutes of the game, things were looking rough when 99ers Nathan Bonney received a penalty for head contact with only 1:50 left in the period.

Looking for more control, London pulled their goalie in hopes of taking advantage of the extra manpower but with no luck. 99ers Mitchell Potter managed to score a shorthanded goal with just one second left in the game, solidifying the teams win 5-3.

Mitchell Potter of the 99ers manages to score a shorthanded goal with just one second left in the game, solidifying the teams win during the U-16 championship game at the Wayne Gretzky Tournament on Friday, December 29, 2023.

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