The Bantam Select team won the Dofasco Tournament over the Feburary 6-8, 2015 weekend by defeating the host Dofasco Steelhawks 4-3 in double overtime in the championship game.
On the weekend the Ancaster Avalanche Bantam Select played in their 3rd and final tournament of the season ready to defend their Dofasco tournament title. Earlier in the season they lost in a 1 goal final in London and at Christmas they repeated as Chedoke champions. But Dofasco would prove their toughest yet.
Without speedy winger Mitchell Barlow, in the round robin, they went 2-1 and getting timely scoring from a number of players including defensive specialist Mark Ferguson, forwards Michael Ariemma, Aidan Muir, Marcus Earls, and Drew Mainprize and newly appointed winger Jacques Gross who was part of a quick 3 man passing play along with Mike Arth and Tyler Rutledge against Lawfield.
The semi-finals saw a truly dominating performance as the Avs beat Hamilton 5-1. It featured outstanding defensive performances from Connor Lalonde, Paul DiGregorio and Aidan McKague and some great glove-hand work from goaltender Matt Kong.
In the finals, the Avs started Quentin DiBenedetto who robbed the host Dofasco team early on giving Ancaster hope for a repeat. But, although the Avs dominated with chances, they found themselves down 3-0 mid-way through the 3rd period. And it got even tougher when they were handed a penalty with just 6 minutes remaining, all but extinguishing their hopes of a comeback.
But 30 seconds into the penalty kill Cameron Lavell made an unbelievable off balance play to rifle the puck in the top shelf giving Ancaster their 1st marker. With 2:30 left, the net was emptied and with renewed hope, the Avs headed on the attack. It was a hustling Joey Boccadoro’s goal with just 1:52 left that caused the building to erupt in a mixture of euphoria and deafening silence. The Avs were on the verge of a great comeback but time was running out quickly. They stormed Dofasco again and again but were stopped several times including an apparent game equalizer by Boccadoro with :14 sec. left, that the Steelhawks goaltender, somehow managed to save. Then, with just 3.7 seconds remaining in regulation time determined defenseman Liam Coffen unloaded a blast from the point which ripped into the back of the net. The Avs had tied the score and the comeback was almost complete.
With just under 3 minutes left in the 2nd overtime, it was Lavell again, with a huge second effort, hauled down on a break, getting back to his feet and shooting glove side. His shot was momentarily juggled by the goalie but had enough steam to end up in the back of the net, giving the Ancaster Avalance Bantam Select team an amazing come from behind tournament victory.
Jubilation spilled onto the ice as the Avs players swarmed each other. It was an amazing ending to a hard fought tournament.
Bottom Row: Marcus Earls, Quentin DiBenedetto, Mike Arth, Matt Kong, Michael Ariemma
Top Row: Steve Mainprize, Dave Earls, Connor Lalonde, Jacques Gross, Liam Coffen, Tyler Rutledge, Adian Muir, Joey Boccorado, Drew Mainprize, Mark Ferguson, Cameron Lavell, Aidan McKague, Paul DiGregorio, Mike Earls, David Kong, John Lalonde.