What a tremendous month of hockey for the 2001 Toronto Marlboros! During the month of December 2013, for all regular season GTHL scheduled games, the Toronto Marlboros won each of the six games they played. Their steady march toward the implementation of the highly demanding programs, designed back in August at the two week Nottawasaga training extravaganza, has been punctuated with the rewards expected of a team that has done everything possible to excel
Capping off the regular season play, during the month of December, with six straight victories was no small feat! What a nice way to bring the 2013 half of the 2013-2014 season to a successful GTHL conclusion! The icing on the cake came right after Christmas. Having just returned to the ice after a very short time away with family and friends, the 2001 Marlboros entered the 2013 Bauer Challenge Cup International Major Peewee Tournament, by invitation, and they took the overall Championship by force! …the force of a strong minded will, forged during the success of the previous six GTHL games!
Expectations were high, however, having to face teams that they had not seen before added a different level of excitement and mental preparedness to each players psyche. One never really knows how to prepare for a previously unseen opponent and that is where the team, having placed its full trust and confidence in the systems designed by Head Coach Gialedakis, absolutely excelled beyond expectation! The credit for the win goes to the players, however, major kudos must be doled out to Gialedakis for raising the bar with his expectations of the team, his inspiring leadership for knowing how to get each player to rise above their previous level of excellence, and for sticking to the game plans that he knew would work!
Here is what to “Remember about December:”
December 6 2013. Marlboros 4 vs. Markham Majors 0 This game featured good puck pursuit and great play in all 3 zones of the ice.
December 13 2013 Marlboros 4 vs. Toronto Titans 0 Team speed and overall discipline were the dominant themes throughout this game.
December 14 2013 Marlboros 5 vs. Vaughan Kings 1 Throughout this game, the team chemistry excelled, and special teams were exceptional.
December 18 2013 Marlboros 7 vs. Markham Majors 1 Unrelenting pressure in the offensive zone throughout the game, with great entries, while controlling the puck throughout the third period, to be rewarded during that period with 5 goals, were the highlights of this game.
December 20 2013 Marlboros 5 vs. Toronto Red Wings 2 This game showed more of the same successful puck control, great entries, and unrelenting pressure, to secure a well earned victory!
December 23 2013 Marlboros 3 vs. North York Rangers 1 The last game before the Christmas break was filled with joy, before, during and after the game! Presents were exchanged and the greatest gift that team mates gave to each other and the coaching staff, was an overall effort that showed what good puck movement, team systems, and the overall benefits of great hockey IQ, all coming together for another victory, could achieve. This resulted in a great end to the 2013 half of the GTHL season.
However, before the team left the Herb Carnegie Arena, on December 23rd, Coach Gialedakis spelled out the goals and expectations for the upcoming tournament that would take place at the Buckingham Arena in Downsview.
December 27 to 30 2013 Champions at the Bauer Challenge Major Peewee Tournament
This was absolutely a “December to Remember,” with the 2001 Toronto Marlboros capping off a great month of hockey by going to the Drysdale Tree Farm and meeting Santa Claus; they learned what it truly meant to “give as a team” through the warm and magical experiences of contributing to a clothing drive, and a very nice gift drive; and after winning the Bauer Challenge Major Peewee International Tournament, the team was prominently featured on the City TV Hockey Highlight News Reel, on the evening of December 30th. What a truly wonderful way to bring 2013 to a successful conclusion and ring in 2014!
Happy New Year, Everyone!