Every hockey player will tell you that tournaments are always a highlight of their season! New experiences, closer bonds with teammates and the excitement of playing excellent teams that are only met once or twice a year, are only a few of the many benefits of tournament participation!
The Marlboros organization has a long list of players that have gone on to earn NCAA scholarships. The emphasis on the importance of higher education is well known, whether the OHL or the NCAA is the choice. To see how much the 2001 team supports this concept, one just needs to look at the NCAA Division 1 schools that they have visited over the past four years: Yale, Quinnipiac, Cornell and, most recently, Notre Dame!
Arriving at Notre Dame, the team were ready to participate in a challenging experience where they would play all of the top five ranked teams in the US. Besides the great hockey experiences, they would also take part in many enjoyable "off-ice" activities, including:
Sharing almost every meal together as a team,
Touring the famed Notre Dame Football Team locker room.
Learning about legendary Notre Dame Quarterback, "Knute Rockne" and the origin of the wonderful saying; "Win One for the Gipper!"
Learning even more about the fabled story of "Rudy", a movie they were well acquainted with having watched it on the bus.
Seeing and touching the famous sign that instructs: "Play Like A Champion, Today!"
Attending their first NCAA hockey game as a team.
This tournament was a true “Canada vs. the US” hockey match up, with five highly ranked Ontario teams playing the top five US teams. True to the depth of hockey in the Canadian culture, the Canadian teams amassed the most points during the weekend, winning 29 to 21.
The 2001 Marlboro Team contributed greatly to that overall outcome by winning four of their games:
Toronto Marlboros 3 vs. Minuteman Flames 1
Toronto Marlboros 3 vs. Anaheim Ducks 1
Toronto Marlboros 2 vs. Chicago Mission 1
Toronto Marlboros 1 vs. Midfield Rangers 0
The perseverance, hard work, team work, dedicated determination united with the common goal of “a relentless pursuit of excellence” made this one of the most outstanding team experiences to date. Throughout the year, the 2001 Marlboros have stuck to their game plan, worked that plan, and, as the results indicate - that plan has worked for the team.