By Martin Laruelle
The Ottawa Sting Minor Atom ‘AAA’ team were the big local winners of this winter’s Bell Capital Cup, the largest annual hockey tournament held in the nation’s capital.
Innis Robinson scored the overtime tournament winner for the Sting, putting them on top of the Kitchener Jr. Rangers 4-3 in the event’s finals, which were held at the Canadian Tire Centre on Jan 1.
“I was really tired at the moment and very happy. The game was very close, I wanted something like that happen,” said Robinson, who relayed that his teammates shared the same emotions during what he and his coach, Bino Cesario, described as a very tense overtime.
The Sting held a 3-1 lead in the third period before the Jr. Rangers, who had beaten them earlier in the tournament in preliminary play, rallied back to force overtime. Cesario remembers Robinson’s winner as being elating, more than anything.
“I was very stressed, it was out of our control, but when (Innis) scored, it was a relief. I lost during the final of the Bell Capital Cup, two years ago. I was scared it was like a déjà vu,” Cesario said.
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The Sting’s Capital Cup victory fits into a larger season of success for the downtown-based team. In Hockey Eastern Ontario’s Minor Atom ‘A’ division, the team cruised through their regular season with a record of 22-5-3. At the time of publication, the Sting were competing in their league’s playoffs. The Sting’s next playoff game is against Ottawa Valley Silver Sevens ‘White’ team on Feb. 29. The teams recently tied 2-2. The Silver Sevens ‘White’ had a regular season record of 13-11-6.
Bell Capital Cup
This year’s Bell Capital Cup was the 21st annual edition of the tournament. Each year more than 200 players, including teams featuring both boys and girls, of varying competitive levels travel to Ottawa to play in the tournament. Teams have also come from more than 11 countries to play in Ottawa during the event’s lifespan. The tournament is open to teams of players between 9 and 13 years old and has previously hosted future NHL All-Stars including John Tavares and Connor McDavid.
Five other Ottawa teams won their division’s titles at the Capital Cup. An Ottawa Sting team won the Minor Atom ‘A’ division. A Nepean Raiders team won the Major Atom ‘AAA’ division. An Ottawa Valley Silver Sevens team won the Major Atom ‘AA’ division. Gloucester Rangers teams won both the Minor and Major Peewee ‘AA’ divisions.