Another tournament, another A title trophy. So it has gone for the Calgary Blackfoot Chiefs this hockey season.
The Chiefs held off the Warman Wildcats of Saskatchewan 3-2 Sunday night to win the 43rd annual Coca-Cola Invitational Pee Wee Hockey Tournament at Civic Arena.
The Chiefs earlier this season claimed tournaments in Lethbridge and Springbank (near Calgary). Vern Olson of Calgary was named winner of the Ernie Kowal Memorial Trophy as Top Coach of the eight-team tourney.
Kyle James, captain Quinn Olson and Zack Ashton scored for Calgary, while Josh Pillar and Kyrell Sopotyk replied for Warman.
“Our forwards forechecked great, our goaltending (Taylor Gauthier) was fantastic and we worked our bags off,” said Olson, when asked what worked for the Chiefs in the Amy Myles Memorial A final.
“They were a great team. All the teams were great all-around, but we were better.”
The Chiefs went undefeated in preliminary play and then ambushed the Vernon Watkin Motors Vipers 10-3 in Saturday semifinal action.
Olson and Ethan King each recorded deuces, while singles came from Mitch Fleming, Ben Karman, Ashton, Spencer Weinkauf, Mitch Watson and Eric Parker.
Vernon got snipes from Lochlan O’Keefe, captain Eric Noren and Nic Teale.
The Edmonton Knights of Columbus Lancers grounded Vernon 7-3 in the Alex Kuly Memorial B final.
Liam Robb (2), Nicholas Magis, Ryan Spence, Konor Campbell, Jared Holliday and Graeme Bryks handled the Lancer offence. Cameron Moger, Trevor Kennedy and Teale answered for the Vipers.
Said Bryks: “Our first period was sloppy, but we worked harder and got things going in the third period. I think the competition was very hard. In some tournaments, there are some light teams, but the competition here was hard. It was a great tournament.”
Warman got four goals from Sopotyk and 1+4 from Austin Lamotte in a 7-5 semifinal win over Edmonton. Bryks, with four snipes, and Magis, replied for the Lancers.
Liam Moody supplied the winner in double overtime as the Nanaimo Clippers shaded the Prince George Cougars 3-2 in the Mickey McMahon Memorial C final.
Brandon Rogers had the other two Nanaimo goals, while Evan Crobar and Corey Cunningham supplied the Prince George goals.
The win was controversial since the timekeeper failed to turn on the clock with 7.5 seconds remaining.
The Clippers skated down for the winner and the referee and tourney officials ultimately ruled there would have been enough time for the goal.
Prince George coaches berated officials before leaving the ice, refusing to shake hands or receive their trophies.
Matthew Marotta of the Cougars stayed on the ice, kneeling down on the blueline while Nanaimo received their hardware, and then shaking their hands.
Marotta received great applause from fans and parents. His move has sparked hundreds of comments and Likes on Facebook.
The Strathcona Warriors of Edmonton, coached by Brad MacGregor (son of former NHLer Bruce MacGregor), took the Dan Oxnard Memorial Trophy as Most Sportsmanlike Team at the tournament banquet Saturday night at the Best Western Vernon Lodge.
Strathcona clipped Seattle 5-4 in the Mickey Ogasawara Memorial D final behind two goals apiece from Ty Whitford and Ethan Sochatsky.