Pre-Game Setup

Wow, can you ask for anything better? The two best minor midget AAA teams in North America prepared to face off for the final bragging rights of the year - the prestigious OHL Cup. Marlies vs Rebels, the classic matchup.

The Marlies, behind the heroics of Connor McDavid, came into the tournament with the Kraft Cup (GTHL regular season champs) and GTHL Playoff champs under their belt. McDavid scored with 10 seconds left to seal the Kraft Cup and 21 seconds left to seal the GTHL championship, both times delivering the fatal shot against this very same Mississauga Rebels squad.

The Rebels appeared to have adopted a defence first strategy in the OHL Cup tournament, boasting a paltry four goals against in the round robin. Goalie Liam Herbst seemed to have found his game after a tough GTHL playoff run and inspirational captain Robert Fabbri appeared to be firing on all cylinders leading into this game.

Lead by McDavid, the tournament points leader (11 goals, 8 assists in 7 games) the Marlies also featured multiple offensive threats including highly touted forward Josh Ho-Sang, power forward Sam Bennett and smooth skating defenceman Roland McKeown, amongst others.

Who would come out on top? The offensively gifted Marlies or the defensively stingy Rebels? Would a new hero emerge or would McDavid score again to break the hearts of the Rebels?

Post-Game Analysis

In a game for the ages, Matthew Alvaro of the Rebels tucked the puck past a sprawling Daniel DeSousa, in overtime, to give his team the OHL Cup. What a fitting end to an epic battle between two extremely even teams.

This game was much different than the wide open run and gun games we watched during the GTHL playoffs. Both teams appeared nervous at the start and it was tight checking all round, lots of hits but not a lot of scoring chances. After the Rebels (David Miller) scored on a controversial bounce (the right call was made, it was a good goal) the Marlies hit the afterburners and the game picked up speed. Goalies Mathew Robson (Marlies) and Liam Herbst (Rebels) played well. Herbst in particular was heavily tested and rose to the occasion until he was solved in the third period when a Roland McKeown shot was tipped off his own defenceman's stick, up and over his glove shoulder.

This set up an intense 4 on 4 overtime that saw the Marlies peppering Herbst, sometimes at point blank range. Herbst was solid, making big saves and controlling the rebounds, limiting the Marlies secondary scoring chances. As often happens in these situations, it was a broken play off a rebound that lead to Alvaro scoring the winner on a wraparound goal.

Well done Mississauga, congratulations!

On a personal note, I would like to thank all the tournament organizers at the GTHL, the OHL and Rogers TV for hosting such a great event. Well done. Also, a big thanks to referee Steven Picco who did his job well, letting the kids decide the game, not him. Bravo.

I'm especially proud of the three Marlies 'kids' who shoot for me at PEAC school for elite athletes, Connor McDavid, Joshua Ho-Sang and Mitchell Stephens. You guys are class acts, you play the game hard, with passion and with sportsmanship. This video is for you.

Mississauga Rebels Roster

4 Morrison, Bennett
8 Di Perna, Dylan
11 Eustace, Nicholas
17 Miller, David
19 Fabbri, Robert
21 Ursitti, Nicholas
24 Pastorious, Nicholas
27 Prapavessis, Michael
37 Desrocher, Stephen
51 Jenkins, Kyle
71 Bourne, Damian
79 Evans, Jake F
81 Nunes, Aaron
88 Centorame, Santino
89 Hargrave, Brett
91 Matthew Alvaro
1 Carty, Dawson (G)
29 Herbst, Liam (G)

Toronto Marlboros Roster

2 Allen, Greg
3 Walsh, Jared
5 Lindo, Jaden
6 Alberga, Michael
9 Graham, Connor
14 DeSousa, Daniel
18 Raddysh, Darren
20 McKeown, Roland
27 Stephens, Mitchell
28 Addison, Jeremiah
66 Ho-Sang, Joshua
88 Znaczko, Danylo
89 Whiteside, Connor
91 Cramarossa, Michael
93 Bennett, Samuel
97 McDavid, Connor
1 Robson, Mathew (G)
54 Christanson, Connor (G)

Enjoy.

Dave Wells
Director, Performance Goaltending
Co-Director, PEAC Goalie Program
Goalie Coach, '96 Toronto Titans
dave@performancegoaltending.com
416.989.0424

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