There are many ties that bind a community such as Leaside together and one of the strongest is most certainly hockey. There are also many ways to measure success for any team – the lifelong friendships and memories created, the poise with which a team represent themselves and their community, the unique joy one gains from shared experience of winning and losing together. By any measure the Leaside Flames 2005 Minor Peewee (MPW) A and the 2001 Minor Midget (MM) A teams exemplify this and so much more. This past season, these two exceptional teams have, as they say “won it all,” with both teams capturing the GTHL Kraft Cup, the East Division Championship, the GTHL City Championship and the “A” GTA Championships.
The MPW Flames are led by head coach Gord Woolley, who has been involved with this team since 2010 and also is a coach for the Leaside Tigers Soccer organization. When not at the rink or planning for the next practice or game, Gord is an avid cyclist and an award-winning graphic designer. Coach Woolley is supported by assistant coaches Steve Zaraska and John MacBain, trainer Dr. Eleanor Colledge, and team manager John Lorimer.
The Minor Midget A team is led by long-time head coach Scott Bryan and his coaching staff Rob Thomson and Allan Maclean-Howard, trainer Gord Wade, and team manager Shannon O’Brien.
This group is arguably the most successful modern day Leaside Flames team. Since starting seven years ago at the Minor Atom division, the 2001 Flames have won four Kraft Cups, four GTHL East Playoff Championships, three GTHL City Championships and four GTA Playdown Championships.
When asked about the team’s success, team manager Shannon O’Brien shared that the team has never named a captain as every player’s contributions are valued as much as the next one’s. This team’s philosophy has always been about working hard, having fun, and helping to create respectful, considerate, and responsible young men. This philosophy has paid off, as evidenced not only in the on-ice success but the positive feedback and comments from the other coaches. This is truly an impressive group of young men, both on and off the ice.