End of Season Wrap Up, News, Minor Midget, 2018-2019 (North Central Predators AAA)

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End of Season Wrap Up
Submitted By quevm on Tuesday, March 26, 2019
A note from the Manager to the families...

Let’s talk about all the successes and the sometimes challenges that led the team to possibly more successes this season.  Our team record this season was 36-24-6.  That is 66 games played this season with a few exhibitions added in there.  On the face of it, this wouldn’t be our best record in recent years but let’s remember where a lot of those games were played.. they were played in the biggest arenas against the toughest teams.  Border battle springs to mind, Silver Stick and of course OHL Cup! 

We started September off at the Titans tournament strong with a 3-2 record with both losses coming to Pittsburg and Chicago and making the sweet 16. Our regular season record leading up to the Border Battle was then 10-3-1 and we were definitely off to a good start. In them midst of that, we lost Brett to injury and added Austin to the team.  Of course the Border Battle provided us with 3 losses but for the players to see what the best 16 year old US teams had to offer, was a fortifying experience with the level of play and the level of exposure which was new with the scouts and teams getting to see what the Preds had to offer.  We popped in a few regular season games going 2-1 and then off to the Silver Stick with a 2-2 record.  Heading into December, some of our boys had their first “fight” with major suspensions handed out and tough games lied ahead for the remaining short bench and still our record was 4-1-3.  We had good success at the Marlies tournament going 3-1-1 and getting another birth in the sweet 16 losing out to the Young Nats.  Our final push to the playoffs was the toughest time of the season.  January and February brought a 5-3-1 record and maybe not the best momentum going into the playoffs.  First round meeting Ajax was a tougher battle than expected. We were definitely a road team in this series finally pulling out a win at home in the 5th game.  With the looming upcoming loss of 3 players to Team Ontario, we were hopeful to sweep Quinte as we had done the year before but no such luck this time around.  Quinte was playing hard and was looking to get a chance at the OMHA Cup and we were down 2-1 before the break.  After what seemed like a forever time off, we won a close one to tie the series 2-2 and then of course, the heartbreak loss in game 5.  I have heard from some parents that it was hard to watch and get updates from the OMHAs and not be in the mix and I agree.  It seemed like these past years were a build to what we thought could have been our time.  But looking back as I write the season summary, I am reminded of a lot of great opportunities and wins for the team that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Just a quick note regarding Team Ontario and the 3 great players who were selected to play and represent our team and the organization; Cole, Connor and Ethan.  We were all very proud of you and we all were glued to our screens watching you, cheering you on and having a heartbreak alongside you when the overtime loss happened.  What a fabulous experience and memories you and your families experienced!  You made the Preds proud!

Now all that culminates to the end all and be all of Minor Midget hockey… the biggest and best all assemble for a week of rough and tumble and hope that you can make it out on top.  The 03 year is a very strong and competitive year with immense talent.  It was always going to be an honor to be in the mix with some very powerful teams.  And do we want to keep in perspective that we are playing teams that have the drawing power of no boundaries and that have sometimes unlimited resources?  We have on average never had even 40 kids tryout in any given season and travel 1 hr or more to get to a practice.  The heart of this team and the dedication for what it takes to be a Pred is unmatchable. That will serve everyone well in their future, in and out of sports.

To the tournament itself, was it exactly what we hoped for, probably not. They faced immense pressure to win to even get into the tournament and to prove that they belonged there.  They faced the enormity of the big stage and handled the pressure well.  I saw them in the zone and felt their desire to win and succeed.  Each and everyone of them should feel pride in the fact that they came and competed!  This experience belongs to them and I hope that they hold it near and dear for their lifetime. 

A whole new chapter begins for everyone regardless of where anyone ends up next season.  But in the big picture of life, their time together and the successes that they have had starting here, will carry them thru some adversity and hopefully will have given them some always and forever friends to lean on. 

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