Grosse Pointe Bulldogs win Bauer AAA Bantam Major championship

The Bulldogs are, kneeling L-R: Sam Knoblauch, Alex Grimm, Gunner Markiewicz, Jack Flynn, Jonathan Theros, Jacob Robinson; standing, middle row, L-R: Zack Pearson, Andrew Tomasi, Marshall Vyletel, Griffin Brooks, CJ Ramsdell, Mac Cimmarrusti; back row, L-R; Tate MacDonald, Theo Calvas, Logan Jenuwine, Mac Welsher, Brandon VanOphem and Zack Kaiser. Coaches are L-R: Robb McIntyre, Geoff Welsher and Mark Brooks.

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The 1998 Grosse Pointe Bulldogs won the AAA division Bantam Major championship at the Bauer World Invite Tournament in Chicago on Nov. 4. The 40-team field included the best Tier II, and some AAA teams, from around the United States and Canada.  The Bulldogs went 6-1 during the three-day tournament to bring the hardware home to Michigan. The Bulldogs lost their only game of the tournament in an opening loss to the Affton Americans, 2-1. Knowing that another loss or a tie could spoil any chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, the Bulldogs won their next three round-robin games. In the second game, the Bulldogs overcame a 3-1 early first period deficit to defeat the Florida Jr. Panthers, 8-4. Next up, the Bulldogs played a very strong Soo Greyhounds AAA team, prevailing 3-1. The Bulldogs completed round-robin play with a 13-1 thrashing of the Houston Wild. On Sunday, the Bulldogs faced a familiar Yzerman foe, the Rochester Rattlers, in the quarterfinals.  Regulation ended with the teams tied 1-1.  After fighting off a 4-on-3 situation in the first overtime, the Bulldogs scored the winning goal with just 40 seconds left in the second overtime to advance to the semifinals to face the Toronto Aeros.  There, the Bulldogs carried the play and won 2-1. In the championship game, the Bulldogs faced the Tampa Bay Scorpions, which upset St. Peters Selects, 4-2, in their semifinal game. The Bulldogs dominated the game from the start, racing to a 7-2 victory.  The team shared the MVP award.