25 years of success

A Silver Stick summary

By Josh Howald

The 25th annual Kincardine Regional Silver Stick was again success on, and off the ice for Kincardine.

The Legion peewees opened the tournament in Kincardine prior to the opening ceremonies. (Richard Lawson photo)

Two Kincardine teams played on championship Friday, while the Legion peewees lasted until Thursday night’s semi-final. There was a total of 48 minor hockey teams in town to play in the novice, peewee and bantam divisions. That made for three full days of competition in Tiverton, Ripley and Kincardine, plus a fourth day of finals at the Davidson Centre.

That’s a lot of hockey.

“The tournament was a success thanks to all the volunteers who put in countless hours to make it happen,” said convenor Lyle Brock Monday afternoon. “

The novices won the B championship; the bantams fell to Listowel in the B final, while the Legion peewees were knocked out in the semi-finals by Listowel – who eventually won the peewee B title. Kincardine squeezed through the preliminary round on a tie-breaker.

Kincardine opened the tournament at the Davidson Centre, dropping a 2-1 decision to Goderich prior to the opening ceremonies.  The peewee Kinucks won the next two games, both in Tiverton. They edged out Walkerton 2-1 Wednesday morning before doubling South Huron 4-2 later in the day. That was a big win for the young team, who had lost 5-1 to the same team earlier in the season. Kincardine has eight first year players, which bodes well for next year’s Legion squad. Kincardine had to wait to see if they would advance to Thursday’s semi-final, and a 6-0 win by Tavistock over Hanover gave the team life.

But they would get no closer to the Silver Stick. A strong Listowel team dominated Kincardine, shutting them out 4-0 in front of a large crowd at the Tiverton arena. Listowel went on to shut out Goderich in the novice B final to earn a trip to Port Huron to play for an International Silver Stick.

Brock, who has a son on the Legion peewees, said it was all worthwhile.

“It was great to see so many of the kid smiling when they scored a goal, or thanked their goalie for making a big save,” he said. “After all, this is the joy – seeing our kids have a great time playing the sport they have come to love.”

It should also be noted that the tournament brings an estimated $100,000 to the local economy. Local motels and restaurants were full all week.

You can read about the novices and bantams elsewhere in this week’s edition, but here is how the rest of the tournament played Friday in Kincardine. Dundalk defeated Seaforth 3-1 to win the novice C championship. The Kincardine Home Hardware novices went undefeated all week to win the novice B. Dundalk edged out Ripley 3-2 in the preliminary round and also finished undefeated. Mildmay won the peewee C championship with a 3-1 win over Wainfleet, while as mentioned, Listowel won the peewee B title with a shutout win over Goderich. The Blyth-Brussells Bulldogs won the bantam C division by posting a 3-1 win over Wainfleet in an entertaining final, and Listowel left with two Silver Stick banners after beating the Kincardine Tim-BR Mart bantams 3-0 in the tournament’s final game in front of a full house.

Dozens of volunteers helped put on this year’s tournament, which was sponsored by Bruce Power, Ontario Power Generation, MyFM 95.5, Labourers Union Local 1059, Babcock Services Inc., Skytech Metalworks, Kincardine Crabby Joe’s and The Kincardine Independent. Additional sponsors included McDonalds, Presto-Crest, Country Depot, MD Auto Clinic, Spikes Auto and Cprime.

Kincardine won its first Silver Stick title 30 years ago this week. Ironicially enough, it was the novice team then, too.

While making no guarantees, Brock saw no reason why he wouldn’t be around next year to once again look after the tournament. Last year’s Silver Stick was his first year as convenor.

“Many teams commented on how well the tournament was run, and expressed thanks to everyone who helped in it,” said Brock. “I hope everyone has a great year and we’ll see you all next year for the 26th annual Regional Silver Stick.”