The Ancaster Avalanche Bantam Select hockey team won gold at the 15th Annual Chedoke Christmas Select Tournament defeating Burlington 4-0 in the final on December 29, 2013.
With a 6-0 season schedule and a Silver Medal tournament performance in London a month earlier, the Bantam Select Avalanche had every reason to be optimistic heading into their Christmas Tournament in Hamilton. But that optimism soon turned sour after a disappointing 4-3 opening game loss to their rivals from Coronation. That meant the team would need to take the long way to the championship. They’d need to win 5 in a row to secure the title.
Led by back to back shutouts from goaltenders Matthew Kong and Quentin DiBenedetto the Avs captured the remaining opening round matches, including a 7-0 victory which featured 2 point performances by Drew Mainprize, Aidan Muir, Mark Randazzo, Cameron Lavell and Marcus Earls.
With winger Andrew Ciuffreda on vacation, the team would need to rely on the remaining 13 skaters if they wanted to win. The Quarter-Finals had the Avs facing little known Garden City. Ancaster struck early in the 1st when Evan Mahon sent the puck to Quinn Ireland who buried it behind the startled goaltender. Mitchell Hall and Connor Lalonde would add goals as the Avs beat Garden City 5-1.
In the semi-finals Michael Ariemma’s 2 point performance led the Avs to a thrilling 3-2 win over home town Brantford and a birth in the finals.
Facing Burlington, Ryan Cross opened the scoring on a great feed from Matthew Custeau. That goal would prove to be the winner as the Avs defeated Burlington 4-0 to capture Gold. David Wilson was named tournament MVP for his excellent work on defense throughout the six games.
Congrats to all the boys for a hard fought and well deserved Gold Medal victory.