After a gruelling two weeks of pre-season training camps, the 2001 AAA Toronto Marlboro’s were eager to get on the ice and put their training to good use. It was time to see exactly how well they gelled together as a team and to go out and have some fun. So on Thursday September 8, 2011, fifteen well dressed boys, along with their coach, showed up to Canlan Ice Sports in Etobicoke to play the Whitby Wildcats.
Their adversaries battled them from the moment the puck dropped in an extremely fast paced hockey game. The crowd remained tense going into the second period with no score in the game. Coach Gialedakis huddled together with his team with a little lesson and pep talk prior to sending them out in the third period. The boys maintained the pace throughout the second period and into the third with some great shots on net. Unfortunately the time ran out in game one resulting in a 0 – 0 tie. The boys were done for day one of the Friendship Tournament and headed home for rest and a hearty meal to prepare them for day 2.
Games 2 and 3 were comparable to one another. Game two was played against the Ohio Blue Jackets while game 3 was with the Rochester Americans. Again the Marlies came out playing the game hard and fast. The boys played a hockey game that was beyond their years. The passes were concise. Their shots were impeccable and above all, their speed could not be matched by their opponents. The Marlboro’s won both games with a colossal score of 9 – 0 against both teams. Both of these American teams left the rink thinking, “yes, it’s a Canadian game!”
Feeling positive and hopeful, the 2001 Marlboro’s prepared for their fourth game of the tournament against the Mississauga Reps. Game 4 brought a speed and intensity that was greater still than the games leading up to this one. The Reps battled hard scoring the first goal in the game. The Marlies came back with a goal to tie it going into the third. The crowd was wild with excitement at how well both teams were playing the game. Unfortunately, game 4 didn’t bring much success resulting in a 2 – 1 loss to the Reps with the game winning goal being scored only minutes away from the end of the third period.
Coach Gialedakis was proud of his team and the effort they showed throughout the tournament. It was the first time his boys were together in an actual game environment and they truly exceeded his expectations. It was a great way to kick off the season and prepare for what was to come.