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“AAA” Preview

Erin Riley

Teams competing at the “AAA” level will hit the ice on September 10, a week prior to “A” and “AA” teams. The 33 game schedule brings no shortage of surprises. Here’s what to expect this season.

Atom
The Vaughan Kings dominated at every step of the way during their Minor Atom season, sweeping up an array of accolades including a GTHL Regular Season Championship and Scotiabank GTHL Playoff Championship. The Kings first loss didn’t come until the second round of the playoffs when the Toronto Red Wings managed a squeeze in a 2-1 victory. The Jr. Canadiens were the only team who managed to get past the Kings on multiple occasions.

Aside from the Kings success, the Toronto Marlboros also had a noteworthy season, going 24-4-5 before falling to the Jr. Canadiens in the semi-finals of the Scotiabank GTHL Playoffs. Will the Kings take the crown again, or will there be new royalty in the division?

Minor Peewee
The Toronto Marlboros were the only team to defeat the seemingly unstoppable Jr. Canadiens last season. The Jr Canadiens – who captured the GTHL Regular Season Championship with a 31-2-0 record – faced the Marlboros in the Scotiabank GTHL PLayoff finals, eliminating them in six games. The Jr. Canadiens went on to win the OHF Championship, winning all six of their games against top teams in the province. Expect both the Marlboros and Jr. Canadiens to come out hot to start their Minor Peewee season.

Peewee
The Mississauga Senators are no strangers to winning. Many members of the Sens Peewee squad have played together since their Minor Atom year, creating an unstoppable on-ice chemistry. In a competitive division, the Senators managed to go 29-1-3 in their Minor Peewee season, winning a GTHL Regular Season Championship. The Senators, however, couldn’t manage to get past the Toronto Marlboros (25-4-4) in the Scotiabank GTHL Playoff Final.

The top three teams in the division (Senators, Marlboros, and Jr. Canadiens) all finished within seven points of one another, with several upsets happening once the playoffs started up. Despite the talent of the Senators, this division has proven that anything can and will happen.

Minor Bantam
A select few teams were able to throw the Mississauga Reps off their game last season. Despite the Toronto Marlboros, and Jr. Canadiens finishing within mere points of one another in the regular season standings, it would be the Reps coming out on top to capture both the GTHL Regular Season Championship and Scotiabank GTHL Playoff title. Expect the Jr. Canadiens to try and redeem their final playoff series loss when they face the Reps on September 22 at Canlan, York University.

Bantam
After easily capturing a GTHL Regular Season Championship, the Jr. Canadiens went on to sweep every single series in the Scotiabank GTHL Playoffs. The Jr. Canadiens squad has swept both the GTHL Regular Season Championship and Scotiabank GTHL Playoffs since their Minor Peewee season. The team will no doubt have their eyes on a provincial Bantam championship to add to their trophy case.

Minor Midget
With only two regular-season losses recorded (both to the Toronto Young Nationals), the Bantam Don Mills Flyers would sweep up every accolade on their way to capturing a Bantam Provincial Championship. The second place Toronto Marlboros couldn’t even manage to record a win against the Flyers in both the regular season and playoffs. Pending another banner year, the Flyers will no doubt be the favourites to take the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour.

Midget
With the majority of Minor Midget teams from the 2017-18 season headed off in different directions, the Midget age group is anyone’s to take. Both the Mississauga Rebels and Toronto Young Nationals have had success in the Midget age category in recent seasons, with both teams making appearances in the Telus Cup. 

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