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RECAP: U16 AAA Express Win #RedHats in Thrilling Overtime Victory

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 03/27/22, 7:00PM EDT


Ferrante notches game winner

In a thrilling gold medal game that went to overtime, the York-Simcoe Express left the U16 AAA OMHA Championships presented by Egg Farmers of Ontario with the coveted #RedHats.

Nicolas Ferrante buried the rebound off a shot from Carson Littlejohn in overtime to help the Express secure the 2-1 win over the Niagara North Stars.

The Express, who punched their ticket to the Finals by finishing on top of their pool and defeating the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs in the semis, earn their first #RedHats in the U16 age group since the 2016 team led by Quinton Byfield.

“I think the fact that we had to play four, five, six, seven (seeds in the ETA Qualifying round) and all the games were really tight and close, it prepared us for this event,” said head coach Brian Perrin. “Our guys, they payed as a team, they bought in and they executed and that’s why they won the Championship.”

The North Stars and Express had met previously in group play, with York-Simcoe coming out on top 5-2 in that contest.

“We saw them in the Silver Stick and we knew that we didn’t create many chances offensively. They have a pretty good goalie who played well today too. So, we knew if we just get shots on him and bury our good chances and capitalize,” said captain Jared McNeil.

“These guys are just amazing. Every single one of them works hard not just on the ice but off the ice,” added Ferrante, who said this was his first time every winning #RedHats. “We’ve all been doing so much stuff to improve our games, not just for hockey but life in general. This group of guys, I’m going to remember forever.”

Ethan Toms (Quinte) and Nathan Aspinall (Markham) were among the Championship’s leading scorers.

In the other three championships, #RedHats were awarded to the Barrie Jr. Colts (U10 AAA), Quinte Red Devils (U11 AAA) and Guelph Jr. Gryphons (U18 AAA).

This was the first of three weekends of OMHA Championships presented by Egg Farmers of Ontario. The next two weeks will see 37 more Champions crowned at events in Barrie, Whitby, Kingston and Windsor, as well as back in Oakville across the U10 to U21 age groups and AAA to Tier 3 divisions.

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