The Regina Bantam AA Challenge or otherwise known as the Graham Tuer Bantam Challenge will get underway way tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 8:15 AM and conclude with the final on Sunday at 2:45. This years tournament will feature 25 teams, divided in to 5 separate pools. All Saskatchewan teams will be attending along with a team from Oakville, ON and the Brandon Wheat Kings bantam team from Manitoba. Here is a preview of the tournament below:
Regina Monarchs (2-5-0)
If the Monarchs are to have any success in the tournament, they will have to rely on their defense to pull through. Big Brandon Griffiths can be a force, Mason Mullaney, and '99 Tylor Ludwar can be solid. Goaltending has the potential to steal some games for this team as both 6'1 Kyle Steinke and '99 born Matt Lenz are capable.
Did you know the Monarchs have 8 '99 born players on the roster?
Top Scorer: Jarred Hicks
North East Wolfpack (6-2-0)
It was thought this year that the Wolfpack would take a big step back after winning the provincials last season. However, they have gotten off to a tremendous start once again. The Wolfpack have a balanced attack with 5 players at a point per game or better and the leader is Tyler Borstmayer with 12 points. The defense is led by big 6'2 180lb Tristan Charles and his 4 goals and 8 points. Cory Thomas has been solid on the blueline as well. '99 born goalie Hunter Arps is 4-0-0 with a 2.25 GAA this year.
Top Scorer: Tyler Borstmayer
Brandon Wheat Kings (1-8-1)
The Wheat Kings have really struggled in the new Winnipeg Bantam AAA league this season to say the least. What also doesn't help is the loss of top player Tanner Kaspick to Midget AAA and the injury to small, skille F- Ty Lewis. The Wheat Kings have just 3 players with more than one goal this season and the leader has just 3 this season. Watch for perhaps Connor Gutenberg to be one of the offensive leaders despite his 0-3-3 in 8 games this season.
Top Scorer: Hunter Gooden
Melville Millionaires (2-2-1)
A bit of a different look this year to Melville after losing one of the top lines in Saskatchewan last year in Neuls/Cole/Boutin. However, this year the team is looking to a more balanced attack with 7 players with a point per game or more and 2 of them being defenseman. Dawson Davidson is a definite player to watch as perhaps the most offensive defenseman in the tournament. Davidson leads the team in scoring through 5 games with 12 points already.
Top Scorer: Dawson Davidson
Saskatoon Bandits (2-1-1)
The Bandits are led by one of the top players in the GSHL in D- Ben Abrook who anchors a very young but capable defense core. The Bandits use 3 '99 born dmen amongst its 6 defenseman but both Payton Ochitwa, Liam McMaster and Parker Gavlas are top players in that age group from Saskatoon. The offence may be challenge a big at times in this tournament and will rely on the puck moving ability of the defence.
Did you know that 7 of the 17 players on the Bandits roster are 5'3 or shorter? 11 of the 17 players are 115lbs or less. Also 11 of the 17 players are '99 born!
Top Scorer: Jayze Schwartz
Regina Pat Blues ( 7-1-0)
One of the early favorites to represent Saskatchewan at provincials this season has to be the Pat Blues. They are led by arguably one of the top goalies in the province in Curtis Meger and his 1.71 GAA through 5 games. Chaeston Sare is a small, skilled forward who is amongst the leading scorers this year with 6-12-18. Defensively, Mark Edmands is a very good puck moving defenseman and one of the top ones early this year in the province.
Top Scorer: Chaeston Sare
Saskatoon Generals (3-1-1)
Another team in the pool with a very good goalie. Declan Hobbs has been outstanding and if it weren't for his 5'6 height, he'd be considered a highly touted goalie. D - Jordan Malainey is one of the more steady defenseman in the province. Shae Kiryk and '99 born F - Dawson Holt are capable of putting up some numbers offensively. The Generals have 6 - '99 born players this year and are one of the bigger Saskatoon based teams.
Top Scorer: Shae Kiryk
Saskatoon Maniacs (1-2-2)
The Saskatoon Maniacs have really struggled to score early on this year with just 13 goals in 5 games. 5'1 102lb Brayden Camrud has been in on 80% of those goals. The Maniacs will need a bit more from Ty Gitzel and '99 Dino Antoniadis for success in the tournament. The Defense is fairly solid led by Brett Hamm, Matthew Leniuk and '99 star dman Ty Prefontaine. '99 born goalie Tye Morin has shown he can steal a point here and there.
Top Scorer: Brayden Camrud
Swift Current Kabos Raiders (4-4-2)
The Kabos Raiders have averaged 4gpg this year and all of that despite being without their top forward Kole Lind for 7 of those games. The offence has been led so far by Tanner Nagel and Tristan Carey who both have 13 points in 10 games. Kole Lind though is the true offensive leader and has put up 7 pts in just 3 games so far. Keeping the puck out of the net has proven to be a bit of the problem though for the team so far.
Top Scorer: Kole Lind
Battleford Barons ( 3-4-0)
The Barons haven't had a problem scoring goals so far this year but also have had a huge problem keeping the puck out of the net. Brandon Lesko is a player to watch so far this year. He has 13 points in 7 games. Owen Lamb has been very good as well. Defensively Kad Mossiman has been solid and shows a lot of grit to his game. Matthew Flath was thought to be a goalie to watch heading in to this season but has a 7.25 GAA in 4 games and will really need to step that up.
Top Scorer: Brandon Lesko
Balgonie Prairie Storm (5-4-0)
Gone are the days of the talent that Jayden Halbgewachs would bring in dominating games as well as the top dmen such as Brennan Riddle and Troy Murray. The Prairie Storm got off to a good start but have stumbled lately. Leading the way this year is a quick strike offence led by small, skilled Jared Dmytriw and talented Jared Legien. Damien Bentz has been an offensive catylist as has '99 born Eamon Milligan. All 5 players are averaging over a 1.5 ppg clip. Goalie Talen King is 4-1-0 with a 3.33 and has been solid.
Top Scorer: Jared Dmytriw
West Central Wheat Kings (10-1-1)
The Western Canada Bantam Hockey Championship hosts haven't disappointed in the early going. They have been very stingy and have played a strong team game so far. Justen Close has to be one of the favorites to be named goalie of the tournament. He is as good as they come but is small and that could hurt his draft ranking. Up front, Kolby Johnson, Garrett Pilon and Ryder Kissick have been the main offensive catylists. Johnson and Pilon especially should be watched closely.
Top Scorer: Kolby Johnson
Westman Cougars (1-9-0)
Another struggling team from Manitoba coming to Regina to see where they stack up. The Cougars have scored just 14 goals and have allowed 55 in league play this season. D - Tristan Cross is a player to watch though and should have favorable reviews from scouts in attendance. The Cougars have several player who have scored just 2 goals in 10 games to lead the squad. Look for Braden Billney to perhaps provide a spark.
Top Scorer: Tristen Cross
Saskatoon Outlaws (2-2-1)
The Outlaws are one of the older GSHL teams coming to Regina with just 5 '99 born players in the lineup. The squad is led by one of the provinces top defenders in Curran Reeve. Up front the team lacks any high end offensive talent to be able to beat West Central or Balgonie. Both goalies are rather small and can be beat. We'd be surprised to see the Outlaws move on to win more than a game.
Top Scorer: Jordan Valcamp
Prince Albert VH Raiders (9-1-0)
Prince Albert would be one of the favorites to win the tournament if Drew Warkentine isn't in fact injured. The power forward and leading scorer in the SBAAHL injured his wrist over the weekend and we haven't heard his status yet. Prince Albert has scored over 8 GPG this season and Warkentine leads with 20 in just 10 games. The Raiders have several other capable players and play a very gritty game. They will be tough to defeat in Regina.
Top Scorer: Drew Warkentine
Saskatoon Frostbite ( 1-2-1)
The Frostbite come in to the tournament winless in their past 3 games. The offensive attack is led by perhaps the top remaining GSHL forward in Saskatoon after the departure of Pilon to West Central and Ramsay and Elder who headed to Notre Dame. Young is capable of putting up some nice numbers. They look to be overmatched in this pool.
Top Scorer: Cole Young
Sask Valley Vipers (3-4-3)
The Vipers are normally quite the powerhouse in Saskatchewan bantam hockey but have taken a step back to the middle of the pack now. The captain, Liam Maley is the offensive catalyist but after him, they can struggle to score at times. They will look to Scott Stewart to step up more. The Vipers will have to rely on their gritty play and depth to win a few games this tournament.
Top Scorer: Liam Maley
Estevan Bruins ( 3-6-0)
The Bruins are a team that really shouldn't pose much threat to the top teams in the tournament. Lately, they have been getting some good play from F - Matthew Bill who has all 4 of his goals in the past 2 games. Kolten Ganson leads the team with 10 pts in 9 games. They have gotten just 1 goal from the defense this season. Brayden Prchal is a '99 born Defenseman who should be watched moving forward. G- Carter Phair has the ability to steal a game or two.
Top Scorer: Kolten Ganson
Moose Jaw Warriors ( 1-7-1)
The last of the teams in a pool in which Prince Albert Should really dominate. The Warriors have given up almost 7 gpg this season and are led by a '99 forward named Chantz Petruic. Chantz, the son of former WHLer Jeff leads the team with 16 points in 9 games. After Petruic's 11 goals and Hagerman's 5, the next best has just 2 goals this season. Defensman Wyatt Riendeau has shown some ability on the backend for Moose Jaw.
Top Scorer: Chantz Petruic
Regina Silver Foxes (3-3-2)
A team that many around Saskatchewan expected much more from has struggled a bit this season. The club is led by tough forward Parker McCormick and captain Caleb Griffin this season. However, McCormick has been out of the lineup for the past 3 games and after him, it is just Griffin really up front. Griffin has 17 goals in 8 games and after him it is Kaczmer with 4. Defensively, Nicholas Ah-Fat is capable if he plays within his self and not try to do too much. Smallish defenseman Jonathan Duff shows a lot of game.
Top Scorer: Caleb Griffin
- Not scouted, No info
Saskatoon Stallions ( 2-3-0)
The Stallions have had a hard time scoring goals this year with just 9 goals in 5 games and have been pretty good keeping the puck out as well. They have just 4 '99 born players on the roster and will look to play a strong team game to win games in the tournament. The skill level on the team isn't very high but they work hard. The goaltending with Sorenson and Labelle has been solid so far. Quinton Ong is a '99 to watch moving forward. Jake Leschyshyn is another '99 born forward to watch as well.
Top Scorer: Dawson Barilla
Yorkton Terriers (2-4-2)
The Terriers got off to a slow start but have been coming on a bit lately. The play of forward Kylan Shae has been disappointing as he was expected to lead the team this year. Instead this year it has been Brayden Miller and his 10 points in 8 games leading the squad. Look for several of the top players once again to be '99 born kids such as; Foster, Stratechuk and D - Kustra. Look for Yorkton to not be a factor in the tournament.
Top Scorer: Brayden Miller
Humboldt Broncos (1-5-0)
The Broncos will be over-matched by the top teams in the tournament. They are led by '99 born F- Erik Gardiner, brother of Prince Albert Raiders first rounder Reid. Matthew Parsons who plays both D/F has been a physical force. Hurting the team heading in to the tournament has been the injury to top forward Shane Sherban. Goaltending has been a major issue this season for Humboldt.
Top Scorer: Erik Gardiner
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