January 8, 2019
The last hope for a BC run at the this year’s Mac’s Midget AAA World Invitational championship, ended with a 4-3 Vancouver NE Chiefs quarter final loss to the New York Jr. Islanders on New Year’s Eve afternoon.
The Islanders would lose their semi-final vs the eventual winner, St. Albert Nektar Data Systems Raiders 6-3 in the quick turnaround game a few hours later (both teams played at noon and then at 6:00 PM).
St. Albert had downed the CAC Gregg Distributors 3-2 in their noon elimination game, and went on to win the championship banner with a 4-3 win over Lethbridge Hurricanes on New Year’s Day.
In one of the grand ironies that sometimes happens in tournament hockey, the NE Chiefs had defeated the Raiders 4-3 on December 29, the only team to do so in the seven St. Albert games. In all but the 6-3 quarter decision over New York, the Raiders games were decided by a single goal, 5 wins and a loss.
In the game vs the Raiders, the North East Chiefs rallied from a 3-0 deficit, finishing the second period down 3-2, then scored two in the third for the win.
The tournament, held annually in Calgary since 1978, featured most of the top ranked (non-CSSHL) midget teams from Western Canada, plus two US teams and one from Ontario.
The tournament again featured the top five BC Major Midget Teams, in the 25 team male division.
The BC teams included the #1 Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (19-3-1-1), from Abbotsford; the #2 Cariboo Cougars (16-5-3-0) from Prince George; the #3 Vancouver North East Chiefs, (15-5-2-2) from Coquitlam, the #4 Okanagan Rockets (14-7-1-2), from Kelowna; and the #5 Thomson Blazers (14-10-0) from Kamloops.
Other teams included the four host teams from Calgary – the Buffalos, Flames, Northstars and Royals, plus the nearby Okotoks Oilers, Airdrie CFR Bisons, and Red Deer Optimist Chiefs.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes represent Southern Alberta.
Edmonton area teams include – CAC Gregg Distributors, Fort Saskatchewan Boston Pizza Rangers, and the St. Albert Nektar Data Systems Raiders.
From Saskatchewan, Beardy’s Blackhawks (Willow Cree – Okemasis First Nation), Notre Dame Hounds (Wilcox), Regina Pat Canadians, Saskatoon Blazers, Saskatoon Contacts, and Swift Current Legionnaires.
Other teams include, Brampton 45s from Ontario, New York Jr. Islanders, and the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders (Colorado).
The NE Chiefs finished 2-1-1 in the Round Robin, to finish second in Pool 3 behind St. Albert at 3-1-0 – suffering their only loss of the tournament, the 4-3 decision vs the Chiefs
The Chiefs lost their opener vs Okotoks 6-0, then downed Calgary Buffaloes 8-6, beat St. Albert and then finished with a 4-4 tie vs Regina, to advance to the quarter finals vs New York Jr Islanders .
The Cariboo Cougars entered the tournament as the #2 ranked BCMML team, 5 points back of #1 Fraser Valley, and finished the tournament second in their pool with the same record as the North East Chiefs, but failed to advance to the playoff round on tie-breaker rules.
The Cougars opened with a 2-2 tie vs the Calgary Flames, and then downed the Brampton 45s, 4-3 in game two Friday morning. They then matched up vs the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who went to the final, and lost 4-2, after falling behind 4-0 late in the second. In their final round robin game, they edged the Swift Current Legionnaires to finish with a 2-1-1 record, second in Pool 4, behind the Hurricanes.
The Okanagan Rockets were handled 6-2 by the Saskatoon Blazers in their opener, and then downed Colorado’s Rocky Mountain RoughRiders 6-2 in their second game. Edmonton’s CAC Gregg Distributors shut them out 6-0 in game three, and they finished with a 5-4 loss to Calgary Royals on Sunday, to finish fourth in their pool at 1-3-0.
Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, who entered as the #1 ranked BC team, finished 1-3-0 in fourth place in Pool 2. The T-Birds won their first game Boxing Day, 4-2 vs the Calgary Northstars; then dropped the next two games by a single goal, 1-0 to Saskatchewan’s Beardy’s Blackhawks on Thursday, and 5-4 to the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs Friday morning. They were shut out 4-0 by the Notre Dame Hounds in their final round robin game.
The Thompson Blazers had a tough tournament, going 0-4-0 in the round robin. They lost 5-3 vs the Airdrie Bisons, 4-2 vs the New York Jr. Islanders, then 5-1 vs Saskatoon Contacts, and finished with an 8-0 thumping by Fort Saskatchewan.
January 1, 2019
|CAC Gregg Distributors||5||2||2||1||5||20||13||44||7|
|Rocky Mountain RoughRiders||4||0||4||0||0||5||20||56||-15|
|Red Deer Optimist Chiefs||5||4||1||0||8||19||16||49||3|
|Notre Dame Hounds||4||2||2||0||4||11||4||65||7|
|Fraser Valley Thunderbirds||4||1||3||0||2||8||12||76||-4|
|St Albert Nektar Data Systems Raiders||7||6||1||0||12||24||17||64||7|
|Vancouver NE Chiefs||5||2||2||1||5||19||23||32||-4|
|Okotoks Bow Mark Oilers||4||1||2||1||3||10||10||43||0|
|Regina Pat Canadians||4||1||2||1||3||11||10||96||1|
|Swift Current Legionnaires||4||1||1||2||4||17||9||26||8|
|New York Jr Islanders||6||3||1||2||8||23||21||84||2|
|Airdrie CFR Bisons||5||3||2||0||6||23||19||38||4|
|Fort Saskatchewan Boston Pizza Rangers||4||1||2||1||3||11||18||94||-7|