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19U Men’s East Shaping Up for a Competitive Year

The first men’s games in the 19U Eastern Conference were played over the weekend in Montreal and though it was only three games in total, the conference appears to be settling in for one of the closest races across all of the NCL categories. The 19U East is wide open this year as neither of the teams that represented the East in the National Championships last year will be returning to the Finals. Three teams that are fighting to fill that void this season are the Toronto Golden Jets, Dollard Black, and CAMO squads. With the Jets making a three-game swing through La Belle Province on the weekend, we had our first chance to see how these teams stack up. 

The opener, featuring the Golden Jets against DDO Black, was held at the Dollard Aquatic Centre on Saturday afternoon. The long trek up from Toronto might have led to a slow start for the visitors as they fell into an early 6-2 hole after one quarter. Doing much of the early damage for Dollard Black was Jérémie Côté, a familiar name in the weekly notes, who recorded a first quarter natural hat trick (to borrow a phrase from hockey). Côté, who had 28 goals in five 16U games last weekend, added 6 more against Jets at the 19U level to continue his strong start to the season.

The Golden Jets were not prepared to let the game slip away so easily, and strong performances from Alexander Bozzo (4 goals), Marko Avdalovic (3 goals) and Stefan Mitic (3 goals) kept the Jets in it all the way. Unfortunately for the Jets, Dollard was able to respond to every single run made against them and never let the Jets grab the initiative. Each time the Jets got within two goals, DDO would score the next goal and halt the momentum. This included a 3 minute stand at the end of the 4th quarter after the Jets scored to make the score 14-12 and had hopes of making one last charge against the home side. After putting the defensive clamps on the Jets, Dollard would add one more late goal to make the final score 15-12. 

After the opener, the Jets had a few hours to prepare for the 2nd half of their doubleheader against Dollard White. The Golden Jets were able to recover from their initial setback to earn a split against the Dollard clubs with a 24-8 victory. It was a full team effort from the Jets as every single field player tallied a goal.

The final game of the weekend trip was a Sunday morning affair against CAMO at Claude-Robillard. 2014-2015 was a somewhat disappointing year for CAMO’s 19U Men who came out on the short-end of so many close games, on the way to a 5th place finish in the conference. CAMO has much higher hopes for 2015-2016 and their opener against the Jets was a strong starting point. With two games already under their belt, the Jets game came out fast and had a 5-2 lead after one on the back of three Blake Carnevale goals. CAMO started to find their legs in the 2nd and by half-time, the score was 7-6 in favour of the local boys. The 3rd period would remain close but 2 last-minute goals gave CAMO the momentum heading into the 4th quarter. Two quick goals in the first minute of the 4th would cement CAMO’s advantage and the Jets would not have the legs to bring themselves back on this day. The final score would be 17-14 CAMO. 

In other action on the weekend, Capital Wave’s 16U girls also made a three-game swing through Montreal. Wave took their Saturday night affair against Dollard 13-5, but then dropped both games on Sunday, 13-4 to CAMO and 15-11 to St-Lambert. In the Capital Wave-St-Lambert game, Méganne Bolduc scored 9 goals in leading her team to victory. Amazingly, that actually lowered Bolduc’s goals per game average. She’s now “only” scoring 9.6 goals per game (48 goals in 5 games). Bolduc is quickly establishing herself as the last person a goalie wants to see with the ball in her hand.

The other two games this weekend featured a 19U women’s doubleheader between Dollard and Capital Wave in Ottawa/Gatineau. The teams would split the series, with Dollard taking the opener 16-8 before Wave responded with an 11-6 victory in game two. 

This week in the NCL

This week is another quieter week in the NCL with 7 games taking place in 4 different cities. A couple highlights this week are Calgary getting its first NCL action of the season with a 19U men’s inter-city match between the Torpedoes and Wild on Thursday night. Also, B.C. rivals Pacific Storm and Fraser Valley will renew pleasantries with a tripleheader starting at 6:30pm on Saturday night at the City Centre Aquatic Complex in Coquitlam. Please see the NCL schedule for exact times and locations of all game this week.



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