ORILLIA ICE DOGS
The 2022 spring/summer season saw the Orillia Ice Dogs field 12 teams in nine age groups.
For tournament play the Ice Dogs had 35 team entries playing 180 games with over 200 players taking part.
Program director Tim McConaghy noted the 2022 season was our most successful to date: “The program definitely rose to new heights as we added two additional teams, participated in more events and had a 20 per cent increase in player participation.”
The Ice Dogs kicked off 2022 sending five teams (U10, U15, U16 AA, U18 AA — Team 1 and 2) to the Spring Showdown tournament in Toronto (April 22 to 24), where both the U15 and U18-2 teams came away with championships. A few weeks later the U16 (Team 2) would head to the Toronto Cup and claim the title.
At the Memorial Holiday Classic May 27 to 29, the U18 (Team 1) AA team made up of mainly 2006-aged players went a perfect 6-0-0 to dominate the tournament and take the title. Other teams that participated included U13, U15, and two U16 teams.
For the weekend of June 3 to 5, the Ice Dogs participated in the Niagara Falls Challenge (U9, U14 — Team 2). It was the inaugural event for the program’s youngest team made up of 2014-born players and saw them win the consolation title and go a respectable 3-2-0 for the weekend.
June 10 to 12 was busy with four teams (U10, U12, U14, U15) facing off in Toronto at the CCT Bring your Best Tournament. The U10 team went 4-1-0, winning a close 6-5 win in the final to take the championship. To cap off the June schedule, both U16 teams (A and AA) would participate in the CCT Championship Cup in Oakville and Etobicoke. The U16 AA team went undefeated (4-0-1) for the weekend, winning 4-1 in the final to take the championship.
July saw only the U10 team participate in the Weekend Hockey Tournament at Nottawasaga Resort. The U10, however, continued their strong play, going 5-0-0 for the tournament to pick up its second championship on the season.
Kicking off August, six teams (U13, U14, U16 A, U16 AA, U18-1 AA, U18-2 AA) participated in CCT King of the Rings (Aug. 5 to 7), which is one of the premier events of the season. On championship Sunday, both the U16 AA and U18-1 AA teams would come away with tournament rings and championship banners.
To conclude August and the tournament season, Ice Dogs Hockey had the U11 team return to Nottawasaga and three teams (U11, U12 and U14-1) play in the CCT Pre-Season Blast in Toronto. Of the 35 tournament entries, Ice Dogs Hockey captured nine tournament wins and completed the season with an impressive 93-70-16 record.
McConaghy added, “Although success in the events we attend is always fun, what’s more important is working with knowledgeable coaches and bringing in quality players to participate. I can’t say enough about the group of volunteer coaches, team managers and program associates. This past season was the 10th anniversary for Ice Dogs Hockey. We are now seeing some of our participants graduate through minor hockey and are now playing at various levels of junior hockey. We like to think participation on our tournament teams helps these players build on what they learn through their regular-season teams, as well as the various skills and conditioning coaches they work with. Our area certainly has a wealth of quality hockey instructors the players can learn from.”
Team of the year award went to the Starport Marina U18 (Team 1) coached by Micheal Fogarty. Over its 17-game schedule the team did not lose a regulation game in three events, finishing with a record of 15-0-1-1, posting two tournament wins. Coming in as honourable mention was the U10 team sponsored by Effective Automation Systems, coached by Daryl Bat. In only their second season, the team compiled an impressive record of 10-3-2 while winning two of the three tournaments they entered.
Ice Dogs team sponsors include Starport Marina, John Eplett — RE/MAX, Desjardins Insurance — Murray Hofstetter, CanCom Sales Inc., Taylor Solutions, Millwood Logistics, Tryon Construction, Moonstone Mechanical, B&J Contracting, Orillia Premier Truck and Trailer, Effective Automation Systems and Chad Traynor — Century 21 BJ Roth Realty. Current program sponsors are St. Louis Bar and Grill Orillia, Konno Performance Apparel, and the Marriott Residence Inn Vaughan.
For the 2023 season, Ice Dogs Hockey will once again ice teams at all age levels, including two new teams for U7 and U8. They are also pleased to announce that the Orillia Terriers junior C hockey club will be the main sponsor for the oldest U18 team next season.
Ice Dogs assistant director Brian Worsley said, “We believe this is a great affiliation for our program as six players who participated in U18 tournaments went on to sign with the Terriers this year. Additionally, several other players are with various teams playing in the Provincial Junior Hockey League and Greater Metro Junior Hockey League.”
Although based out of Orillia, players from all minor hockey associations can participate, as off-season hockey programs are not governed with border restrictions. With the continued growth, the program is currently looking for additional team sponsors and corporate partners. Please visit the Ice Dogs website for more details and a list of contacts.