More than 200 teams from across North America collided during last weekend’s Nation’s Cup Tier-II event, as teams from Canada faced off against U.S.-based teams in the battle of the border. With 18 divisions across seven age groups, we take a look at what country claimed the cup in each group as well as what team won the pivotal 1-vs-1 matchups on Sunday.
In the Midget Division, Team Canada defeated Team USA, clinching the tournament victory with a 5-3 win by the Toronto Royals over the Rockford Roadrunners in the final game. Canada trailed 6-0 in the point standings after the first three games but won the final two contests on Sunday with the Royals putting them over the top for a 9-6 finish in points.
Canada claimed the cup in the U-16 Girls Division in the final game as well. Down by a point heading into the 1-vs-1 matchup on Sunday, the Clarington Flames defeated the Kensington Valley Ravens 3-0, earning 4 points in the process and jumping Team USA in the standings.
Team USA won the ‘04 Gold Division, fittingly capped off by the USA Eagles winning the final game 3-2 over the London Jr. Knights. The Eagles went 5-0-0 on the weekend, earning a spot in the top matchup on Sunday and five points in the standings with their final victory.
In a Sunday Sweep, Team Canada took the ‘04 Silver Division, winning all four games on the final day. The St. Thomas Stars posted a 4-0 victory over West Seneca to close out the tournament for Canada.
The Burlington Eagles Blue team won the 1-vs-1 matchup in the ‘04 Bronze Division. Their fourth win of the weekend was a 4-0 decision over Ann Arbor Wolves, giving the Eagles and Team Canada the championship.
The ‘05 Gold Division came down to just one point in the standings. Back-to-back ties earned by the No. 2-seed Niagara Falls and No. 1-seed Oakville Rangers Red held off Team USA and earned Team Canada a close decision.
Team USA won the first three games of the ‘05 Silver Division placement games on Sunday. That start put the red, white and blue in great shape later on as the Buffalo Regals won the 1-vs-1 matchup 2-1 and Team USA defeated Canada 18-10 in points.
Going a combined 3-0-1 on Sunday, Team USA won the ‘05 Bronze Division 8-2 in the points standings. LaSalle and Alleghany skated to a 3-3 tie in the final matchup, splitting four points but ultimately earning the victory for the U.S.
Cross-pool play was back-and-forth all weekend in the ‘06 Gold Division but Team USA made a clean sweep on Sunday in the placement games. The Rockford Roadrunners defeated the Toronto Wolverines 2-1 in the final matchup of the division, giving USA its unprecedented eighth win of the day.
The Milton Winterhawks won the 1-vs-1 matchup in the ‘06 Silver Division and earning the individual championship, but the overall division championship would go to Team USA. Despite losing nine points in the final matchup, USA beat Canada by racking up 30 points in nine games on Sunday.
A shutout in the final game and a division-wide shutout across the ‘07 Gold Division, as the Burlington Cougars Blue defeated the Cincinnati Swords 2-0 and Team Canada swept Team USA in all five games on Sunday to win the championship.
The Cleveland Barons Black squad defeated the London Jr. Mustangs 3-2 in the final game of the ‘07 Silver Division to claim the individual championship but Team Canada would edge out USA 9-6 in the points standings to win the division title. Wins in the 2-vs-2, 3-vs-3 and 4-vs-4 matchups gave the Canadians the edge on the tournament’s final day.
West London defeated Findlay 1-0 in the ‘07 Bronze Division final, earning some hardware for the team. However, it would be the Canadians’ only win on Sunday as Team USA took home the division championship.
The ‘08 Gold Division went to USA, defeating Canada 16-12 in the points standings. Victories in the 2-vs-2 and 3-vs-3 matchups clinched it for the Americans before the final Sunday game. It was Waterloo, however, that won the 1-vs-1 matchup 4-2 to earn the individual championship.
Canada won the final four games of the ‘08 Silver Division to claim the individual and division championships. The Guelph Gryphons knocked off Meramec 4-2 in the last game of the tournament.
The Lambeth Lancers won the 1-vs-1 matchup over the Pittsburgh Vipers, as Team Canada won the ‘08 Bronze Division. The Lancers allowed just three goals against all tournament, posting three shutouts along the way.
The ‘09 Gold Division was decided when Team USA won the 2-vs-2 matchup, scoring enough points to lock up the division championship. That didn’t stop the Canadian-based Orangeville Flyers from defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4 in the finale to take the individual team championship.
With back-to-back shutouts in the 2-vs-2 and 1-vs-1 matchups, Team Canada won the ‘09 Silver Division championship. The Dorchester Dragons’ 6-0 win over the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies capped off the tournament for Canada’s youngest champions of the weekend.
The Nation’s Cup series is one of the most unique events LEGACY Global Hockey has to offer. This tournament isn’t just about your team, but your country, as every win on Sunday has implications in the overall standings. With an 11-to-7 split across 18 divisions in favor of Canada, this year’s Nation’s Cup Tier-II tournament was one of the most competitive and patriotic in recent memory, as players, parents and coaches represented their countries proudly in all nine rinks across metro Detroit.