The World Junior A Challenge is set to take action this November and team training camp rosters have been announced. Countries invited to the tournament include Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland and of course, the United States.
Canada has two entries into the tournament: Team Canada East and Team Canada West. Out of the 65 invitees from each eastern Junior A league, 20 are from the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) and 7 of those are from the Cornwall Colts.
Of course, you can say it’s a bit biased to do Cornwall’s Head Coach Ian MacInnis was selected to man the bench for Team Canada East for the tournament. However, each one of the 7 Colts invited have rightfully earned their spot with their hard work through out the first part of the CCHL season.
Red hot goaltender Jordan Piccolino has played 12 games with Cornwall so far and boasts a 1.96 goals against average. That’s good enough to throw him in second in the league, just behind Carleton Place’s Cory Simic who was not even offered an invite to the team. The Pierrefonds, Quebec native is in his second year with the Colts and already lead them to a championship in his first year. Not a bad selection to have between the pipes for Team Canada East.
On defence, Callum Hofford and Matthew Cruickshank were selected as invitees. The possibly college bound Cruickshank has played in 16 games for Cornwall this season and is deadly on the point. He won’t be taken lightly either as he’s wracked up 15 penalty minutes.
Forwards is where you need your strength and Team Canada East has invited Lawson MacDonald, Chase Pearson, Marley Quince and Tanner Spink. Quince and Spink need no introduction to Cornwall fans as they both lead the team in points with 18 and 13 respectively. Not to be outdone, Pearson is right up there with 10 from his side of the ice. Quince and Spink could be deadly when stuck between the right wingers, Pearson included. Hopefully we’ll see what the rest of leagues offer up for Team Canada East.
The tournament gets underway November 4th when Team Canada East takes on Team Russia.
After a myriad of penalties in the first period by the Carleton Place Canadians, the Junior A squad found themselves in a 3-1 deficit heading into the second against the Cornwall Colts.
Heading into Cornwall’s barn, Carleton Place was looking to keep their first place Robinson division standing intact. If it wasn’t for Cornwall’s red hot goaltender Jordan Piccolino, there was no doubt Carleton Place would have been way ahead. More chances and keeping the puck in Cornwall’s end seemed to be all that was happening in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Then came the penalties. 4 penalties in 10 minutes kept the Cornwall Colts on a never-ending powerplay. Capitalizing on the Canadian’s mistakes, the Colts managed to score 3. However, that was pretty much all she wrote.
The Carleton Place Canadians are a big group of lads who use their size to their advantage. Not afraid to use the body against the smaller Cornwall Colts. Penalties seemed abundant, but some were warranted. The second period saw the teams play almost evenly against one another. It was the third where the Canadians woke up.
Clarkson, Michigan native Vinny Post earned second star of the game honors by beating Piccolino to notch the game up at three. With one more goal each to head into overtime, it was Clarkson University’s committed Kelly Summers who sealed the deal for Carleton Place.
CCHL’S THREE STARS
1. Stephen Baylis (CPC)
2. Vinny Post (CPC)
3. A.Roumeliotis (COR)
MARCH’S THREE STARS
1. Jordan Piccolino (COR)
I can’t say enough about this kid. If it weren’t for him, the score would’ve been run up by a mile. Thoroughly excited for his future; brilliant to watch.
2. Kelly Summers (CPC)
Scouts were abundant in the Ed Lumley Arena, including one from the Dallas Stars. No doubt this is who they were keeping an eye on. Summers hockey sense and ability to drive plays is what makes him a key part for Carleton Place and will be for Clarkson University next season.
3. Marley Quince (COR)
While he was kept off the score sheet and took a stupid penalty, Quince is a joy to watch. His speed and stick handling are what keeps him on the ice every second shift. Sometimes can be a bit flashy though.
On a special night in front of a hometown crowd of 829, the Cornwall Colts put all the drama between them and the LNAH’s Cornwall River Kings in the back of their minds and played an exciting game of hockey to open the 2013/2014 season.
Commissioner Kevin Abrams started off the pre game speeches congratulating the Colts on their hard fought win of the Bogart Cup last spring. The championship banner was raised to the rafters of the Ed Lumley Arena in honour of their efforts. From there, it was time to usher in the home opener.
The first brought a solid period of hockey with both teams playing evenly. Cornwall’s Grant Cooper had two brilliant scoring chances early on but was stopped by the glove of Hawkesbury’s Guillaum Therien. Although the teams seemed to match one another, the Hawks were pulling away with better opportunities both offensively and defensively.
Hawkesbury’s Trent Durocher used his size to his advantage to keep the Colts away from the net. Nicholas Vlahos capitalized on the opportunity and put one past Cornwall netminder James Edwardson. The Hawks went into the third with not only the lead but a commanding presence on the ice. At the same time they also went into the third with a 4 minute major.
Just like that, the Cornwall Colts have lost a key piece to their next season’s attempt at back to back champions.
Michael Pontarelli, a right winger out of Laval, Quebec, announced that he is not returning for another season with the Junior A Cornwall Colts after weeks of will he or won’t he. He has opted instead to get his college career underway with Schenectady, New York’s Union College. He’ll start off his career with the NCAA Division 1, Union Dutchmen. David Roy and Sebastien Gingras who are Brockville Braves alumni are already apart of the squad.
Now, let’s take a look at what a powerhouse the Colts are losing. Pontarelli played one year in the CCHL with Cornwall. In 53 games played, Pontarelli notched 107 points (52 goals, 55 assists) coincedently leading the league in points and goals as well. Here’s a list of his accomplishments and keep in mind, he only played ONE season.
CJHL Player of the Year
CCHL Most Valuable Player
CCHL Sportsmanship Award
CCHL First All Star Team
CCHL Most Goals (52)
CCHL Most points (107)
2013 CCHL Champion
That’s quite the list of accomplishments for having played one year. Union will know exactly how to mold a player like Pontarelli. On Cornwall’s side of things, it will only give somebody else the chance to step up and shine. Well, somebody’s going to HAVE too. Welcome to the nature of hockey boys and girls.
I have no doubt in my mind though that the Colts are still going to be up to par come season time even with the loss of their best player. Coach Ian MacInnis doesn’t like to lose (then again what coach does really). Though he’ll have his hands full come fall, juggling both the Colts and head manning Team Canada East for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. That tournament is set to take place November 5-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
At long last, there is finally another banner being raised to the rafters at the Ed Lumley Arena. The Central Canada Hockey League 2012/2013 champions, the Cornwall Colts, will see their hard work paid off on Thursday, September 5th.The banner raising ceremony will mark the beginning of Cornwall’s 2013/2014 season as they take on the Hawkesbury Hawks.
Looking to start the long road to a repeat performance, the Colts are hoping to be in fine form. It should not be too tough of a road as they have made the finals 3 seasons in a row. The Colts toppled off the Nepean Raiders on their way to victory last season to capture the franchise’s 5th Bogart Cup. That championship win allowed them a shot at the Fred Page Cup tournament, the best of the best of Eastern Canada. Although the Colts came up empty handed, they are graciously waiting their next chance at it as they host the Fred Page Cup in 2015.
Head coach and owner Ian MacInnis will not only have his hands full with his Junior A squad this season but as coach of Team Canada East. Team Canada East is slated to play in the World Junior A. Challenge taking place in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in November. The annual tournament showcases the best of the best of Junior A hockey which is alive and well in the country. Former Colts alumni have played and produced medals in the tournament.
The Cornwall Colts season opener and banner raising ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 5th at the Cornwall Civic Complex. Puck drop is at 7:30p.m.