OMHA Champions!, News (Napanee District Minor Hockey)

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OMHA Champions!
Submitted By Dan Dowling on Thursday, April 23, 2020
  With an abrupt and unexpected end to the hockey season, teams from across the province were left in limbo as they entered the OMHA Finals.  Two of those teams were from NDMHA - The Country Butcher Shop Peewee BB Stars and the Calderwood Automation Bantam BB Stars. 

  On March 12th @ 8pm, Hockey Canada announced the suspension of all hockey related activities.  A heartbreaking way to end a season with such promise and potential for so many young players on the cusp of glory.  As some time passed with uncertainty building, we patiently waited for any news of what was to come for minor hockey.  
On April 11th, we received our answer

  The OMHA decided that all teams entering OMHA Finals would become Co-Champions and share a championship with their Finals opponent.  A resolution of magnanimous benevolence, the OMHA certainly has made the right decision.  In doing so, NDMHA has two new OMHA Champions!

  The Country Butcher Shop Peewee BB Stars finished their regular season with an electric 18-1-1 record, that included a perfect home record of 10-0.  Showing signs of winning it all early on in the season, the Peewees did not relent from start to finish.  They steamrolled teams with their brand of never-ending offence.  Evidenced by their GF/GA ratio, the Peewees were scoring 4 goals for every single goal their opponent scored (177/44).
  As they entered their highly anticipated playoff run, they looked to continue to play their firewagon brand of outscoring their opponents and forcing them to keep up.  Napanee began against Lindsay in a quarterfinal series in which each team agreed to an 8 point series instead of the usual 6.  With Napanee getting an early 2-0 series lead, Lindsay looked to gain a foothold and won game 3.  Perhaps reason for concern for some, but not for Napanee.  They put the hammer down and won the next two to take the series 4-1, while outscoring Lindsay 21-14.  Once again, their opponent couldn't keep pace.  
  On to the semis, where they met Midland - a team offering a heightened level of stingy play and another test for Napanee's formidable offence.  With home ice advantage, Napanee took the early lead in the series only to have Midland answer back with a considerable effort and steal a point from Napanee in game 2 with a 5-5 tie.  The Stars pressed on in game 3 in Midland making a statement with 3-2 win to take a 5 points to 1 lead in the series.  On their heels and desperate to stay alive, Midland stood their ground with a 3-1 win sending it back to Napanee for the Game 5 finale.  With a week to prepare for both, Napanee was able to exhibit its prowess for goal scoring with a 5-2 win at home, vanquishing a tough semi final opponent in Midland.
  On to the Finals against the Thorold Blackhawks, who coincidently finished their semi final series in the exact same fashion of 3-1-1.  Great anticipation and excitement to see this team reach their destiny, only to have it foiled by COVID-19 seems a cruel fate.  
  The fact of the matter is regardless of the circumstance and the scenario that was out of their control, with every chance they had, they did they're very best.  An incredible way to represent your hometown, your families and each other.  We are all very proud of you, Stars - Congratulations!

The Country Butcher Shop Peewee BB Stars

3 Liam Birney
84 Kohen Cutler
31 Aidan DiFazio G
71 Owen Dwyer
64 Evan Gaffney
76 Mason Goodfellow
97 Miles Jones 
18 Dylan Kemp
27 Owen Kish
8 Samuel McCaw
41 Joaquim Murray
28 Scott Scrimshaw
77 Mitchel Turner
88 Ty Turpin
66 Blake Wood
45 Tie Wood

Head Coach          Will Phippen
Assistant Coach    Shawn Birney
Trainer                Paul Gaffney
Assistant Trainer  Marcia DiFazio
Manager              Brooke Gaffney


  At this point, we're about half way through the story of this championship season.  As we shift from the Peewees to the Bantams, we get a look at another team from Napanee seemingly destined to make their mark with a championship.  As an aside, I reached out to Head Coach, Ryan Sharpe for his thoughts and insights into his teams success over the course of the regular season and playoffs.  He had plenty to offer and at times I'll quote him directly.

  The Calderwood Automation Bantam BB Stars had an incredible season from beginning to end, top to bottom and they couldn't have done it any other way.  This team didn't allow distractions to dissuade their singular focus of winning the ultimate prize, nor did they veer from the game plan as to how their play would dictate championship hockey.  It didn't always work out in their favour and they didn't always get the bounces, but the team full of maturing hockey players who had tasted championship glory before, battled their way through their share of adversity, facing it head on and succeeding. 

  Their regular season record of 17-1-2 reveals a dominant team on both sides of the puck.  A schedule consisting of 8 shutouts and a GF/GA ratio of 139/26 over 20 games with a 13 game winning streak mixed in for good measure, further exemplifies the thorough approach to play that made them champions.  As their confidence improved over the course of the year, Coach Sharpe points to a home and home series in early December as a defining moment in their quest. 

"Another highlight would be the match up with Picton, winning both games.  Friday night in Wellington we won 7-2 and everyone contributed.  Saturday (at home) we won 2-1 with another solid effort against a very good team", said Sharpe.  For the record, Picton was a very good team as they found themselves in an OMHA Final at their respective level, as well. 

  While regular season games provided a measuring stick for their game plan, a rigorous practice schedule was the catalyst for its design.  While a system everyone was to adhere was illustrated by repetition, other aspects such as discipline and character were being discussed and would lend themselves to the players resolve. 

"We stayed pretty consistent throughout (the year) and we got better with attention to the details of the game as the season went on", said Sharpe. It's the attention to those details Coach Sharpe believes makes the difference.  Now on to the playoffs!

  An old rival stepped in as their first round opponent.  Stirling found itself in a tough series against the juggernaut in Napanee.  The Stars swept the Blues in 3 games outscoring them 12-4.  Albeit an underwhelming result, Napanee didn't underestimate Stirling and used that series to take their game to another level. 

  As with most of our rep teams in playoffs, the Bantams would have to face a team from Lindsay to advance to the next round.  In games 1 and 2 Napanee was victorious, but with vastly different scores.  An 8-3 win in game 1 illustrated the Stars offensive acumen, although in game 2 they only scraped together a 2-1 win.  The score may have been foreshadowing for the next two games of the series as Lindsay finally had their feet under them and were able to push back on Napanee to win the next two games 4-3 and 4-1.  It's scenarios like this that provide opportunity for teams to reveal their character and resolve.  Some teams can wither under the pressure of a momentum swing in a tight series, but this is not something the Stars were afraid of nor did they waiver from their focus.  They were on a mission.

"In Game 5, at home, all 15 skaters and our goalie probably played their best game of the series", said Coach Sharpe.  In a 3-1 win in front of their family and friends and in an elimination game, this team exhibited it's strongest performance.  Further proof there was something special brewing with this group. 
  Moving on to the OMHA SemiFinal, Napanee would face a formidable adversary in Hunstville; a team with a plethora of success from earlier in the year.  The Otters had a big, strong and talented team that would put the Stars determination to the test.  With home ice advantage, Napanee would host the first two, but lost a tough game 1 in a 3-2 squeaker.  In game 2, the Huntsville Otters received a lesson in tough, intimidating hockey and were physically dominated at every point in the game.  Napanee was relentless and showed no signs of backing down nor did they show any concern for the game 1 loss.  As a viewer, this was one of the most impressive displays by a bantam team this scribe has witnessed.  At times the action was incredibly intense - the Stars were persistent with the punishment levied against Huntsville.  Battered and bruised, the Otters left Napanee with a game 2 loss of 5-1 and some questions about how they were going to answer back with two games at home.

"Going on the road to Huntsville the next weekend and winning both games was the highlight of the series" offered Coach Sharpe.  A coach proud of his group taking control of the series in hostile territory with scores of 5-2 and 3-1, Sharpe and the Stars would find themselves moving on to an OMHA Final.  This is not by accident.  
  There is something about this group.  A winning attitude that permeates the entire team.  A belief in themselves and each other and plenty of proof.  A few of the players are repeat winners.  A few others have won consecutive championships, while another group has now won 3 OMHA Championships in a row.  And further still, there is select group who have won 4 OMHA Championships in 7 seasons!  They still have a few seasons of U18(Midget) to play, so if you're looking for great, young hockey talent, look no further than the Calderwood Automation Bantam BB Stars - 2019-2020 OMHA Champions!  Congratulations! 

The Calderwood Automation Bantam BB Stars

21 Luc Amat
6 Ethan Boutilier
55 Gavin Brooks
10 Daniel Chase
71 Spencer Cranley
88 Zered Haller
24 Jayden Holden
18 Ty Kemp
22 William Myers
7 Anthony Nugent 
11 Jack Osborne
14 Cameron Pearson
31 Samuel Rickard G
91 Aaron Storms
41 Karter Vermilyea
66 Jacob Wood

Head Coach           Ryan Sharpe
Assistant Coach    Mark Kemp
Trainer                  Daryl Rickard
Assistant Trainer  Cameron Parr
Manager  Chris Boutilier

Coach Sharpe would also like to pass on this message of thanks to the whole group:

"For me it was a great year had a lot of fun coaching these young men and watching them develop their individual games and our overall team game to the point of reaching the Finals of the OMHA.

Thank you to my coaching staff Mark Kemp, Cameron Parr, Daryl Rickard and Manager Chris Boutilier who did an unbelievable job of running this team from start to finish.

Thank you to all the parents for their time and efforts with taking players to games, practices, tournaments and also running fundraiser events and helping with game day set ups.

Thank you to all of the players for your hard work and many efforts to reach our goal of playing for the OMHA Championship.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to finish what we started, but I hope all of you enjoy the feeling of being OMHA CO-Champion for Bantam BB. 

Lastly, I would like to thank the Napanee Minor Hockey Executive for the countless hours of work they do during the year to allow for these young men to be able to develop into better hockey players each season and also allow myself and staff to coach and become better hockey coaches each season.  Also, I would like a big shout out to Connor Milroy and alumni of Napanee Stars hockey program.  Connor practiced with us every Wednesday night for the season as we only carried 1 goalie.  Thank you Connor for all your help and commitment to our team this past season."


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