Peewee & Bantam Teams All Claim Jr. NLL Champion’s Cup
Oakville, ON – The fifth annual Jr. NLL tournament ended in a similar fashion to the fourth annual tournament, with Toronto Rock Jr. NLL Champion’s Cup wins at the Peewee and Bantam levels. The Midget Jr. Rock came up just short, losing in the final.
The opening game of the day on Sunday featured the Midget division. The Midget Jr. Rock were paced by a three-goal game from Jonathan Peshko, leading the locals to an 8-2 semi-final win over the Jr. Saskatchewan Rush. The final setup a matchup with the Jr. Calgary Roughnecks.
In the final, a close first half was broken open with a pair of late goals from the Jr. Roughnecks, giving them a 3-1 lead at the halftime break. The Jr. Rock tied the game 4-4 midway through the second half, but it was the Jr. Roughnecks with three goals over the final 8:19 of the game to seal a 7-5 win and the Midget Jr. NLL Champion’s Cup.
In the Bantam semi-final, the Jr. Rock faced the Jr. Edmonton squad. The Jr. Rock Bantams averaged almost 18 goals per game through a perfect round robin, going 4-0. In the semi, the Jr. Edmonton team played some tight defence and kept the Rock under ten goals, but it wasn’t enough as the Jr. Rock prevailed 9-4 to move on to the final.
The offence was back to shooting the lights out in the Jr. NLL Champion’s Cup final against the Jr. Vancouver Stealth. Leading 5-1 at halftime, the offence found its groove as the second half played out. The two teams traded goals to open the second half, but a 6-0 run by the Jr. Rock iced the game for the defending Jr. NLL champs. The Jr. Rock’s Jake Dawick ran away with the division scoring title, piling up 31 points (11+20) in just six games.
After a 3-1 round robin that included a tiebreaking win over the Jr. Colorado Mammoth, the Jr. Rock Peewee team came out firing on all cylinders in their 11-3 semi-final win, also over Jr. Edmonton. Ty Jesso added to his team-leading goal total with another pair in the victory.
In the final, the Jr. Rock met up with the Jr. Mammoth for Peewee supremacy. After falling behind 2-0, the Jr. Rock scored their first goal of the game with just 14 seconds left in the first half. That goal sparked a five-goal run that continued through the second half. Jesso again scored a pair of timely goals in the 7-4 win and also earned tournament MVP honours for the second consecutive year.
This year’s Jr. NLL Tournament was the largest in the five-year history of the event. All nine NLL teams were represented for the first time ever and there was also representation from former NLL cities with players from Edmonton and Philadelphia competing. In total, 32 teams competed over the three-day tournament at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre and Glen Abbey Community Centre in Oakville, ON.
2018 Season Tickets are also on sale now. Please visit torontorock.com/tickets or call 416-596-3075 to purchase or for more information.