The Fort Nelson’s CMP Sports bantam hockey team arrived in Whitehorse undefeated and left undefeated.
The B.C. team won six straight games to claim gold at the Yukon Bantam Hockey Championships at Takhini Arena on Jan. 29.
CMP Sports raised the Yukon Cup after a 9-3 win over Whitehorse’s P&M Recycling in the final.
“The first game against these guys was closer, but with this group, with so many talented players on it, it’s just a matter of time before they start scoring and once they start scoring the floodgates open,” said Fort Nelson head coach Harrison Dickie.
P&M kept it close in the first period, which ended 2-2, with goals from Hugo Burgess and Cole McCulloch, before five unanswered goals from Fort Nelson in the second. Burgess scored a second goal in the third period. Teammates Zane Daniels and Brandon Petelski logged assist and goalkeeper Max Wolsynuk was named P&M’s Player of the Weekend.
Jarred Kotcher, who had two goals and an assist in the final, was named Fort Nelson’s Player of the Weekend.
The Fort Nelson team, which comes from a northern B.C. town of about 4,000, also went undefeated at a Prince George tournament in December.
They advanced to the final with a 10-4 win over Tok, Alaska’s Interior Heat team in the semifinal.
“This particular group has been playing for a long time, since pre-novice and novice, and they’ve been together the whole time,” said Dickie. “It’s a good team, has a lot of chemistry.”
P&M reached the final with a 13-1 win over DGC. P&M’s Jackson Benn racked up six goals and two assists in the game.
DGC Welding takes bronze in OT
It was starting to look like Whitehorse’s DGC Welding was going to blow it.
With less than three minutes left in regulation, DGC let a two-goal lead evaporate as Tok, Alaska’s Interior Heat scored two goals in 25 seconds.
But DGC had a little left in the tank. The Whitehorse team beat Tok 5-4 in overtime and captured the bronze at the bantam championships for a second year in a row.
“They came back to a 4-4 tie, and going into the overtime the boys knew they were pretty stretched out, but they just kept persisting and pushing and pushing,” DGC head coach Cary Goodman. “They all stepped up and I’m pretty proud of them.”
DGC’s Kyle Bierlmeier had three goals, including the game-winner, while teammate Colton Webb notched the other two. Kaelan Troke, Keegan Bevilacqua, Charles Gill-Scarff and Jakob Ekholm — named his team’s Player of the Weekend — logged assists in the game.
The OT win was sweet retribution for a disheartening loss in the round robin. Tok scored with just seconds left on the clock to beat DGC 5-4 in the opening rounds.
“It was a close game last time, so it was good to come back and beat them,” said Goodman.
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