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Rock Solid Renegades Win Youth World Championships (Under 12 Division)

09/01/2009 at 10:59am EDT

A group of Barrie’s best young ball hockey players captured the first ever Youth World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship.

The Rock Solid Renegades, comprised of players from the Barrie Ball Hockey Club’s Progressive 9-11 and PeeWee divisions, traveled to Brampton during the weekend of August 28th to 30th in their quest to claim the Under-12 division title. Barrie teams also competed in the Under-15 and Under-18 divisions.

The youth tournament weekend was the first of three event weekends over the next six weeks as part of the “ballhockey.com” 14th Annual World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships. Over the past 14 years, the Worlds have expanded to include Men’s A, B, and Over 35 divisions along with Women’s A and B tournaments. Teams travel to the tournament from all over North America, including far flung locations such as San Diego, Vancouver, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Montreal. In addition to the new youth divisions, 2009 will mark the first ever Co-ed World Outdoor Championships. This is the first year as that the “Worlds” have expanded over three themed weekends: Youth – August 28-30 at the Brampton Ball Hockey Club; Women’s & Co-ed – September 25-27 at the Niagara Ball Hockey Club; and Men’s – October 2-4 at the Barrie Ball Hockey Club. By the time the Men’s tournament wraps up, more than 100 teams from all over North America (which translates into more than 1500 participants) will have competed for more than $30,000 in prizes.

The Renegades went undefeated in their quest for the Youth Under 12 crown, winning a thrilling game against rival Barrie team, the Warriors. The final score was 4-2 but the close game was not decided until Keegan Martin scored his second goal of the contest with just 2:10 left in the third period. The Warriors had battled back from a 3-1 deficit to cut the lead to 3-2 on a late third period goal from Nick Lacoursiere. The Renegades were not to be denied, though, as Martin quickly put his team back up by two goals to seal the victory. The Renegades went to work with their high-powered offense throughout the event, and only faced a stiff challenge in the final game. On their march to the final, the Renegades beat the Niagara Bulldogs 14-0; the Barrie Warriors 9-1; and the Brampton Bears 10-0. Other scorers for the Renegades in the Championship game were Hayden Fox and Nolan King. Braydon Johnston scored the other goal for the Warriors. Martin led all Under 12 players in scoring, while goalie Austin Johnson put together a stellar weekend, allowing just three goals in four games and posting two shut-outs en route to the championship.

The Renegades entered the tournament from a position of strength. The team featured two of Barrie’s 2009 Summer scoring leaders (Matt Brassard, the top scorer in the Progressive 9-11 division and Martin, the top scorer in PeeWee), and no fewer than five past scoring champions in Matthew Booth, Cade Ciccone, Mack Chapman, William Lowe, and Matt Walilko. Johnson, with a Novice division goaltending title under his belt, provided the team with strength in net. Fox, King, Braydon Booth, Abe Holmes, Andrew Lenarduzzi, Tyler MacDonald, Cole Owsijenko, and Boston Town rounded out the high-powered roster.

The team featured AAA, AA, and A level hockey players and rep-level players from other sports such as lacrosse and rugby. This was the second major ball hockey championship of the summer for Fox and Ciccone, whose Barrie Wild won the 2009 Ontario Indoor Ball Hockey Championships for 9 & 10 year olds.

In the other divisions, the Innisfil Wave captured the Under 15 title, while the St. Catharines Explosion were the Under 18 champions. More than 200 participants took part in this year’s event with trophies and awards for those placing in the top four teams in their respective divisions. Teams came in from Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Innisfil, Malton, Niagara Falls, North York, and St. Catharines to compete for the three division championships.

For more information on next year’s Youth World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships, visit www.ballhockey.com .

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