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Mac’s Midget AAA Tournament: Rocky Mountain Repeats as Champs, Regina Wins First Team Title

By Neil Hilts on January 03, 2018

After winning the Mac’s in 2017, the Rocky Mountain Raiders returned with several key players and they were able to waltz their way to another title, going undefeated through the tournament including a 6-2 win in the final over Prince Albert. (Courtesy of Mac’s Tournament)

For three straight years, the Rocky Mountain Raiders have been a finalist at the Mac’s Midget AAA World Invitational in Calgary, and after a bitter finals loss two years ago, they have now brought home gold two consecutive winters. 

The Raiders’ 6-2 win over the Prince Albert Northern Bears was the only game they allowed more than one goal, proving their dominance across the tournament.

On the male side, the Regina Pat Canadians claimed the first championship in the team’s history after losing in the final in 2014. They faced the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, who had a chance to win the championship for the first time since the inaugural tournament 40 years ago.

The Pat Canadians outplayed the Chiefs in every facet, winning 4-0 and holding Red Deer to just 16 shots. 

RAIDERS PERFECT THROUGH TOURNAMENT
Last year, the Raiders played a few close games throughout the tournament, but this year, they dominated. They went 4-0 through round robin with wins by scores of 7-1, 5-1, 5-0 and 3-1. In the semifinals, the Raiders met Delta Academy Prep and defeated them 3-0, setting up a rematch with Prince Albert.

The Raiders and Northern Bears previously played in the last round robin game and the Raiders came out victorious with a 3-1 win.

In the finals, Rocky Mountain really brought the offense. One period in and the Raiders led 2-1 with an 11-3 shot advantage and they continued to press in the second, scoring three more times. Down 5-1, the Bears couldn’t muster a comeback in the third. 

Mary McDonald was named tournament MVP after tying for the tournament lead with 10 points through round robin. The Raiders had the top four scorers with Chloe Puddifant (10 points), Kara Kondrat (nine points and top goal scorer) and Breanne Trotter (six points) behind McDonald.

Related: Mac’s Midget Tournament Back for 40th Year 

Along with her MVP, McDonald earned a spot on the First All-Star Team, as well as the top plus/minus rating for players. 

The other all-stars were goalie Sadie Hastings (Regina), defenders Hannah Koroll (Prince Albert) and Kate Wagner (Regina), and forwards Taylor Lind (Swift Current) and Puddifant (Rocky Mountain). On the second team, goalie Reese Hiddleston (Delta), Jordan Ashe (Prince Albert) and Isabella Pozzii (Rocky Mountain) from the blueline, and up front, Kondrat (Rocky Mountain), Camryn Amundson (Prince Albert), and Chanreet Bassi (Delta).

Many of the Raiders players were part of last year’s championship team and earned a second gold. They’ll lose a number of players to graduation heading into to next year, but don’t count them out at the next Mac’s tournament. 

MAC’S CHAMPIONSHIP BACK IN SASKATCHEWAN
After winning two and tying two in the round robin, Regina had tough contests en route to the final. First, they knocked off the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds 3-2 in overtime in the quarterfinals, then had to go to extra time once again as they bested the New York Jr. Islanders 2-1 in the semis. 

Like Regina’s semifinal, Red Deer also found themselves in a closely-contested matchup. Rylan Burns scored the game’s only goal in the third and goalie Duncan Hughes stopped 14 shots for the shutout and victory. 

The battles Regina went through earlier in the knockout stage appeared to be more difficult than their final game, where they met Red Deer. The Pat Canadians led for the entire game, going up 2-0 after one before closing it out and winning 4-0.

Jaydon Dureau, an eighth round choice of the Portland Winterhawks in 2016, had a final to remember, scoring the first two goals and assisting on the second two. 

Alex Morozoff of Saskatoon was named tournament MVP, as well as a first team All-Star. The Red Deer Rebels draft choice had a tournament-high seven goals and 13 points in just four round robin games.

The All-Star teams were goalie Dawson Pelletier (Fraser Valley), defencemen Brennan Malgunas (Cariboo) and Adam Heindel (Red Deer), forwards Alex Morozoff (Saskatoon), Liam Fraser (Calgary Buffaloes) and Layne Sniher (Calgary Buffaloes) on the first team. On team two, Josh Dias (Valley West) in net, defenders Brett Bamber (St. Albert), Jason Chu (Northwest Giants), and forward Jacob Piller (Swift Current), Jake Neighbours (Calgary Buffaloes) and Eddie Gallagher (St. Albert).

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By Neil Hilts| January 03, 2018
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  AB Minor Hockey

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