The BWC 15s were in Calgary this past weekend for the World Sport School Challenge. The tournament was hosted by the Edge Academy and featured a number of CSSHL teams as well as U16 teams from Alberta and the USA.
Despite coming in as one of the top seeds, the BWC 15s were not able to overcome a slow start and make it to the playoffs on Sunday. In the end, it was cross-town rival, Delta Hockey Academy battling the hometown Edge 2-1 to win the Championship game.
Here’s a recap of the BWC 15 weekend:
Game 1: vs OHA 15
BWC got started early Thursday morning versus the Okanagan Hockey Academy 15s in a game that BWC eventually lost 5-3.
BWC d-man Gianni Fairbrother opened the scoring just 51 seconds in to give BWC the quick start they wanted. However, just past the half way mark in the period, Mattias Dal Monte took the game’s first penalty – for interference – and just five seconds into the powerplay, OHA’s Brett Alexander scored to even it up, 1-1.
In the second, the two teams traded chances early but weren’t able to convert. Then with 12:31 left in the period, Ian Walker took a debatable four minute spearing penalty, and it looked like OHA would be poised to take their first lead of the game.
However, it would be BWC who would score the next goal as forward Joe Stokes was able to get the puck past OHA goalie Keenan Rancier just 10 seconds into the penalty kill.
BWC’s Kyle Forbes then added another to open a 3-1 lead with 8:27 remaining in the second period. But about three minutes later, Matthew Byrne scored on BWC’s Nick Lee, to finish out the period 3-2.
Despite the late OHA goal, things still looked good for BWC at that point. After 40 minutes, they held a 3-2 lead, and a 26-12 advantage on the shot clock.
But things quickly turned around in the third.
OHA’s Austin Lidster tied it up about two minutes in after Holden Katzalay was assessed another odd spearing penalty. Then Tayden Fowler-McNab scored with 8:16 left to give OHA its first lead and more momentum. Finally, Byrne closed it out with his second and just 2:17 left to secure an OHA victory.
Shots finished up 36-26 for BWC. OHA were 2-5 on the power play, and BWC 0-4.
Game 2: vs Pacific Coast
Next up for BWC was a game against the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy which ended in a late 2-2 draw.
Damian Rennie opened the scoring for PCHA with an unassisted goal with about seven minutes left in the first, to close out the period, 1-0.
In the second, BWC’s Jack McIntosh scored the lone goal, with 5:48 left, to tie things up 1-1.
BWC held a 26-21 shot advantage going into the third.
In the third period, the two teams traded shots but neither was able to get anything in the net until finally Pacific Coast’s Jake Middlemiss scored unassisted with just 1:41 left in the game.
But it wasn’t over yet. With the goalie out, extra man Joe Stokes responded 29 seconds later with his second of the tournament to secure the tie.
Shots finished up 38-27 for BWC. Pacific Coast were 0-4 on the PP, and did not take a penalty in the game.
Game 3: vs Yale
BWC came into game three Saturday morning knowing they needed two wins to earn a spot in the playoffs on Sunday.
They had to down Abbotsford’s Yale Acedemy in the morning, and then North West Calgary Athletic Association in the evening.
But it wasn’t to be as Yale scored a comeback goal late in the third to secure a 2-2 tie and BWC out of playoff contention.
The game had opened slowly with no scoring in the first and with each team killing two penalties.
Yale finally opened the scoring about midway through the second, on a goal by Jayden Sauder. Then with 5:26 left in the period, BWC’s Owen Christensen evened it up to finish the frame, 1-1.
In the third period, BWC took the lead with 11:09 left in the period after Andrew Stack fired one by Yale goaltender Mathieu Caron.
It looked like BWC might hang on for the win as the clock ticked down. But with just 2:27 left, Yale’s Ethan Leyh scored to make it 2-2, and earn Yale a spot in the semi-final vs the Edge (6-4 EN Edge).
Game 4: vs NWCAA Midget AAA Bruins
BWC’s final round robin game ended with a testy 4-3 win over the NWCAA Bruins, who were coming off a 3-0 win over Pacific Coast after opening losses to OHA and Yale.
NWCAA quickly opened the scoring, just 1:18 in, on a goal by Brandon Heise. But it would be NWCAA’s only lead in the game.
Kyle Forbes notched his second of the tourney to tie things up just past the half way mark in the period. Then about three minutes later, with NWCAA’s Devon Stuart in the box for slashing, Gianni Fairbrother added his second of the tourney to give BWC a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
In the second, Hunter Nelson tied the game for NWCAA about three minutes in, with Christian Buono serving a two minute minor for tripping.
BWC’s Jack McIntosh then added his second of the tourney and Gianni Fairbrother added his third of the tourney (and second of the game) to open a 4-2 lead.
But NWCAA weren’t finished yet – about a minute later, with 7:09 left in the period, Eric Martin scored shorthanded to put them within a goal, and with almost a half a game left to play.
But that would be it for scoring as the two teams managed only a combined 10 shots in the final frame, and BWC held on for the 4-3 victory.
The win meant BWC finished third in the E15s pool B behind OHA and Yale.
In the final, it was Delta Hockey Academy defeating the Edge School for Athletes 2-1 to win the World Sport School Challenge E15s division. Delta scored the first two, then hung on, despite being outshot 38-28 on Edge home ice.
As this tournament took place outside of CSSHL regular season play, BWC remains in 4th place in the CSSHL standings, three points ahead of Yale, two points behind 3rd place Delta Hockey Academy, four points back of the Edge, and 9 points behind first place Northern Alberta.
Northern Alberta were committed to a US tournament over the same weekend.