Georgian Bay Sports Fan

commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene

JR C HOCKEY PREVIEW

With the Jr C hockey season kicking off this past weekend, we thought we’d throw in our 2 cents on who looks good locally.

Stayner Siskins

The Siskins have a huge turnover this season coach Garinger says “ we will have at least 15 new faces in the lineup….it will be a challenge, but our new players are highly motivated young men that want to develop their games”.  Leadership will come from vets Jeff Moniz, Evan MacDonald and Will Gerow.

The team showed extremely well in the Alliston pre-season tournament and had a victory in their season opener against the Alliston Hornets, the team to beat this year.

First year coaches Ed  Garinger, Brady Sluman and Jeff Hamm have their work cut out for them.  While Garinger has only one year in junior hockey as he put a year in as assistant coach last year, Sluman and Hamm are young with no experience behind the bench.  GM Gauthier will keep everyone on the same page as much as possible; he’s proven to be one of the best in the league.

Look for them to be 3rd in the division, 4th overall.

Penatang Kings

GM Wes Parent feels his club is ready to win it this season and expectations are high “ we feel that we have a good group of local talent that can work hard and produce results game in and game out.  Players that have looked good early are Jessey Moreau, Nate Archer, Taylor Steele, Craig Robinson, Hayden Cole, John O’Hara, and Nigel Labatte”

The Kings also had a very good showing at the Alliston pre-season tournament and have jumped out to win their first two regular season games easily against the Midland Flyers.

Burt Logan returns as head coach, with first time assistants Dale Gignac, Bradyn Parent and Kyle Horzempa.  Logan is best known for his work with minor hockey in the Barrie area.

The team has the best player in the league with Jacob Robitaille and Ebner and Smith in goal should be adequate.  They have some speed up front with Gagnon, O’Hara, and Clark.  This is a nice solid team with a top 10 as good as any.  If coach Logan can make the transition from minor hockey to junior hockey thinking this team will be competing for the top spot.

2nd in the division and league.

Alliston Hornets

Coming off the Ontario championship last year and having a good core of returning players, the Hornets are again the team to beat.  Leblanc, Cox, Brooks, Montpetit, Shannon, Duthie, Parker, Stephenson and Arcan are as good a core group as there is in the league.  Goaltender Robbie Alsop struggled in early playoff action last year and had a shaky home opener allowing the Siskins to steal the game,  and Donald Oldrieve is unproven.

Coach Sandy McArthy is charged with bring another Championship to Alliston, and is an interesting choice for the position to say the least.  Well remembered for his fists in the NHL, he has very little coaching experience at any level and it showed at the preseason tournament.

IF the coaching staff proves they can manage a junior squad AND Alsop returns to form this is the team to beat, we like them for 1st in the division and overall.

Midland Flyers

Poor Midland, they deserve better.  A perennial basement dweller the fans where finally hoping for a decent season this year.  Neighboring team Penatang continuously puts a competitor on the ice, theres no reason the Flyers shouldn’t.  They’re better located for the Barrie players and have better facilities.

Midland kicked off the season with two losses to Penatang, 7-1 and 5-2.  They were never in either game.

Coaches Chris and Andrew Alarie could be excused for the performance of the team they inherited last season when they were brought in, but they’ve had all summer to recruit and restructure and should be better than this.  They elected to bring back the same core of players that lost last year, and the additions are adequate at best.  Jason Leigh, Tyler Shibley, Braiden Burnett and goalie Jacob Schandlen are really the only players capeable right now at this level.

Look for them to be 4th in the division and 7th overall.

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