Oakridge Aeros - Novice 3 MD Team
Back row coaches (left to right): Josh Beaulieu, Scott Wain, Jamie Chamberlain, Dan Rath Middle row: Caleb Dann, Jack Davidson, Xander Cunningham, Elliot Etheridge, Ryan Beaulieu, Zack Attard, Maxwell Wain, Austin Hudson, Tyler Dawe, Nathan Allain, Cohen Chamberlain, Nicholas Keith Front row: Nash Kelly, Owen Hartung, Ryder Godmaire
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Dominant is one way to describe the 2017-18 season that the Oakridge Aeros Novice 3 MD team enjoyed. A quick look at their overall record – 55 wins, 3 losses and 3 ties – is simple proof of that.
“Our year really was a Cinderella season,” Aeros coach Scott Wain said. “All the coaches and parents couldn’t be prouder of the team’s hard work, dedication and accomplishments this year.”
Winning, although it happened often, wasn’t the core goal for the Oakridge Novice squad, according to Wain. At the beginning of the year, the team’s mission was really to have the players develop a deep love for the game hockey, and to learn to play well as a team. The kids did that and then some.
Playing in the Alliance West division, the Aeros competed throughout the year against Stratford, Sarnia, North London, West London and the London Bandits. And in addition to their impressive success against these opponents, the Oakridge squad won a pair of tournaments too. What was the key to their success? One reason, their coach says, was their ability to put constant pressure on the puck.
“Our team is relentless,” said Wain, who has been coaching hockey for 12 years and has played the game throughout his life. “We don’t allow teams to have much time or space, and we give up very few chances.”
That relentlessness certainly worked to help lead the team to an outstanding season, in which everything they touched seemingly turned to gold. After winning the Alliance West Championship, the Oakridge Novices went on to reign supreme as they won the overall Alliance title to cap off an unforgettable year.
It was a year of winning, to be sure, but Wain says it was also a whole lot of fun.
“When the players are having a blast at the rink, and when they understand we need every one of them to be successful, it really is fun to be part of.”
Contributions by Scott Wain and photo by XGEN Photo