Hope’s two Midget hockey teams had winning records at their home tournament, with the C-1 team going toe-to-toe with Prince George in the final game on Sunday evening.
“We started it all at 8:00 in the morning on Friday and finished after 7:00 on Sunday night,” said Hope Minor Hockey’s tournament coordinator, Terri Pennell. “The stands were full for the final game, mostly of Hope fans. It was good to see.”
The C-1 team skated through their four round robin games with three wins and a tie on their way to the final.
Team manager, Deanne Edmondson, said the team is mostly comprised of Agassiz/Harrison players, with only four being from the Hope area.
“Our first game was 6-3 against North Delta,” said Edmondson, on Monday. “Steven Hudson got two goals for us — then Andrew Leijen scored five goals against Squamish in our 11-2 game.
“The next game against Port Coquitlam was phenomenal. The boys played very hard. It wasn’t until 6:42 in the second period that we scored the first goal, then PoCo tied it up. It was a neck-and-neck game that ended in a tie. Andrew scored two goals and Evan Janzen had two assists.”
The C-1 boys blew past Langley on Saturday night, with a 9-0 shut-out. Caleb Hardy potted four goals and Steven Hudson had three helpers.
“That left us first in our pool,” said Edmondson. “We played Chilliwack C-7 on Sunday at 12:15 and beat them 8-1. They’re in our tier in our league too. Jordan Edmondson and Andrew Leijen had two goals each and the top assister was a defenceman, Fraser Linza, with three assists.”
The semi-final win put Hope into the final against Prince George, which had come through the other side with all wins — other than the tie against Hope’s C-2 squad. The northern team had two goalies and only nine skaters.
“That was a real nail-biter,” said Edmondson. “In the first period, they scored late — then we scored in the early part of the second period. We were tied 2-2 at 10:51 in the third, then they pulled ahead 4-2.
“Jordan scored to make it 4-3 and Caleb tied it at with 4:24 to go — then with only 1:02 to go in the game, Prince George scored,” said the team manager. “The crowd was going crazy! We pulled our goalie but the boys just couldn’t get another goal.”
C-2 head coach, Barclay Fletcher figured his team came fifth out of the ten teams, with a record of two wins, one loss and one tie.
“It was a good tournament, with lots of parent support,” said Fletcher, himself a Hope Minor Hockey product. “Prince George was the best team in their home league and we tied them.
“We were already short Kevin Misumi, who hurt his ankle last week — then my son Ethan crashed into the net and the boards and broke his ankle in our second game, so we had a couple of Bantam call-ups join us, [Steven Misumi and Morgan Peters].”
Fletcher deferred to Bud Webb for the game stats, which he produced before heading out to the bench to help coach a Bantam game on Monday evening.
The team lost their first game 6-4 against Chilliwack C-7, with Aaron Truesdell posting two goals and an assist.
Four goals in the second frame helped Hope to a 6-5 win over Semiahmoo on Friday night. Dustin Thompson and Byron Cadano each scored twice. Ethan Fletcher had one assist before his injury.
In the 2-2 tie against the tournament-winning PG team, Brendan Sullivan assisted on Cadano’s two goals. Hope doubled the guests in penalty minutes but neither team scored when the other was in the box.
Truesdell and Tyler Holding each scored twice in the 5-3 win over Surrey C-10 in their final game.
“C-1 was certainly better than us over the weekend,” said Webb, “but I really want to tell you about the tournament last weekend in Cloverdale. We came second out of 20 teams!” said Webb.
“The boys really played well together and even when one of our better players, Kevin Misumi, hurt his ankle, we were able to beat a Chilliwack team that we haven’t beaten in league play.”
Misumi led the team with two goals and two assists in C-1’s 6-3 win in their first game and Mitchel Peters was the only scorer in the 1-1 second game. Goal scoring was evenly shared in their 7-5 and 6-3 wins and Brendan Sullivan and Ethan Fletcher each had 2 goals in their 7-2 win.
The championship final against Port Moody was a classic saw-off, with no scoring until late in the game. It was a very clean match, with only two penalties for each team — but in the end, Port Moody got two late goals to win top honours.
Next up for Hope is the Bantam tournament on February 4-6.