2016 Telus Cup Preview: Saint John Vito’s
The host team for this year’s Telus Cup is also the Atlantic region champions. Trailling by a goal late in the third period of the championship game, Alex Hambly potted the equalizer with 10 seconds to spare. In overtime, Saint John Sea Dogs’ prospect Ben Reid sent the Vito’s into a frenzy notching the championship-winning marker.
Now, the Vito’s are on home soil and ready to compete at the National Midget Championship in a rink they’ve played in all year long. With that said, it won’t be a cake walk for the home team and they’ll need their big guns to be in top form in order to grab the hardware at the qplex.
Head coach: Ken Dobson
Regular season record: 11-0-1 (47 points)
Goals for: 134 (3.83 per game)
Goals against: 88 (2.51 per game)
Players to Watch:
F – Anderson MacDonald
A top draft prospect for this summers Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft, MacDonald was the Vito’s scoring leader in the regular season with 36 points in 26 games, averaging over a point per contest. He had a slower production rate in the post-season posting 9 points in 9 games, but got back in the groove at the Atlantics in Newfoundland. He finished the tournament with four goals in three games and took home MVP, Top Forward, while also being named a First Team All-Star.
D – Ian Smallwood
Originating from Newfoundland, Smallwood came to the team after spending time at training camp with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Drafted in the 2015 QMJHL Draft by the Sea Dogs, Smallwood was a workhorse on the Vito’s blueline playing big minutes, especially on the powerplay unit. He had 33 points in 31 games in the regular season, and added 14 points in 10 playoff games. Both those totals were good for second in team scoring, both in the playoffs and regular season.
Between the Pipes:
He split the regular season schedule with his counterpart and finished with a 12-7-0 record, posting a 2.45 goals against average and save percentage of 0.907 in 19 starts. In the Atlantics, Stewart was the teams clear #1 netminder starting all four games en route to a 1.96 GAA and 0.918 save percentage. His record was 2-1-1.
The backup, at least so far, for the host team, Parkhill posted a solid 11-5-0 in regular season play while finishing with a 2.45 GAA and 0.895 save percentage in 18 appearances. Coach Dobson knows he can rely on both of his goaltenders to be on their game no matter who he decides to give the nod in goal. You can bet Parkhill will be ready to go after not seeing any post-season action.