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Sunday, June 12, 2011

NAA Rebels Tournament

There was a tournament in the province of Alberta this weekend that kind of flew under the radar a bit.  Sherwood Park, AB was the location of a 4 team tournament featuring some of the better 97 born players in the province.  The Edmonton Rangers, NAA Rebels, Red Deer and the Calgary Selects took part.  The Calgary featured a combination of the two best Calgary summer teams with the Jr. Flames and the Calgary Nationals forming.

The Nels Eklund Calgary team was understandably dominant throughout the weekend with the likes of AMBHL rookie of the year in Mason McCarty, scoring star in the making Merkley and Braylan Shmyr who played AA last year.  All told, there were 6 players on the Calgary Selects team that played AAA and there could've been more if the likes of Elynuik, Tristan Thompson, Riley Morris, Mason Burr and Rohl played.  However, some were out due to injury or just chose not to play.  In the end it was Whitby, Merkley and Shmyr who were standouts along with McCarty and Xavier.  Oliver Lester was a complete stand-out on defense as expected by our early 2nd round ranking for him currently.

Other players who were exceptionally strong through the tournament were Dylan Stewart from the Edmonton Rangers squad and Jesse Freeborn from the Red Deer Rustlers.    Dylan Stewart was proud of his tournament success,  "I thought I played pretty well but I could've scored more goals, I did win the MVP twice in this tournament though, so that was good.  However, on a team level, going 1-3 was very disappointing".

The captain of the Red Deer Rustlers Jesse Freeborn was not only a physical force through the tournament but he also chipped in offensively with 2-5-7.  His team left early before the tournament was over due to some shaky play and he walked away very impressed with the NAA Rebels and a few players specifically caught his eye, "I thought the Rebels were a very strong team and players like Andrew Perry, Jordan Xavier and Chase Olson really stood out in the tournament."

The team from the Edmonton area could've been stronger as well if key players such as defenseman Cameron Reagan, star forward Giorgio Estephan, Brayden Burke and Matteo Gennaro would've played.

Next up, we shift our focus to the North American Hockey Classic that will take place in Winnipeg beginning on June 16.  However, there will be no Alberta teams taking part in the tournament.



Anonymous said...

Calgary in final with NAA Rebels--Calgary came back from 3 and 4 goal deficits in 2 games leading to the final and took the championship 5-3.

Anonymous said...

NAA Rangers did not make the final..??