November 29, 2016
From 8th to 4T in 8 games
BWC U18 Prep have been slowly climbing the ladder in the top division of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League. And now 1st place is in sight.
The Wildcats notched 5 of 6 points on the Island this past weekend, to go 5-1-2 in November, and move from 8th at the start of the month, into a 4th place tie with Northern Alberta Extreme.
And with the most of league off this coming weekend, two wins at home Saturday and Sunday would vault them into a first place tie with Delta Hockey Academy.
Northern Alberta downed BWC 7-6 in OT in game 3 of their weekend, after a thrilling BWC comeback, to spoil a perfect 6 point BWC sweep, and a share of third place with Edge.
BWC and NAX are now one point back of Edge, two behind second place OHA Red, and four behind Delta.
Delta notched 6 of 6 on the weekend at the same showcase (3-2 NAX, 4-3 OHA Edmonton, and 4-3 Edge) to jump over OHA Red, who lost their first game of the year on Sunday 4-1 to OHA White.
BWC is the only team to have downed Delta this year, 3-0 on October 22. Delta is now 13-1-0; BWC is 10-4-2.
The two teams will face off in the final game of the 2016 Prep Division schedule, Saturday, December 17 at Planet Ice in what could be a game for the #1 spot at the turn.
BWC Prep Showcase Weekend Recap – November 25-27, 2016
BWC downed OHA Edmonton 7-2, after opening up a 5-1 lead in the first. Both teams scored once in the second, and BWC got one more in third to finish it up.
Bradley Ong and Ryan Stack both scored twice and assisted once, with singles from Holden Katzalay, Lucas Barker and Raihan Kheraj. Three players, Kazeem Bapoo, Lucas Wong and Massimo Rizzo notched a pair of assists. Nick Lee got the win making 34 of 36 saves. OHA Edmonton were 3-12-2 after the weekend, in 13th place.
The Wildcats defeated winless Banff Academy 6-1 on the scoreboard and 52-16 on the shot clock. Katzalay got the first two. Kazeem Bapoo, E15 affiliate Ryan Denney, Rizzo, and Stack scored the next four. Defenceman Colten Kovich assisted on three of the markers.
Michael Harroch, another E15 call-up, got the win, stopping 15 of 16.
Harroch was filling in for third year goalie Bradley Cooper, who was called up by the Langley Rivermen for the weekend.
(Cooper backstopped the Rivermen to a 4-2 win for his first BCHL win (33/35) on Friday, and then got his second win Saturday vs the Surrey Eagles in a 7-5 game).
BWC faced much tougher competition in Northern Alberta Xtreme, in game 3, which turned out to be a wild one.
BWC scored five goals in the third period to tie it up 6-6 and force overtime. They had trailed 2-0 after 1, and 4-1 after the second.
Massimo Rizzo had a huge game. He first scored at the beginning of the second to make it 2-1 before NAX put two more on the board.
BWC’s Tom Sweeney then got things going a minute and a half into the third, to make it 4-2. But about three and half minutes later, NAX went up 5-2 on Kaleb Ergang’s second of the game.
A minute later Stack scored on set up from Rizzo and Kovich, and then Rizzo scored again, just 50 seconds later, with assists from Jayden Lee and Kovich, to make it 5-4.
But NAX battled back and scored the next one, on a Cole Wyatt marker, four minutes later to make it 6-4 with 8:01 left.
NAX were assessed a holding minor with 6:39 to go, and about a minute into the powerplay, Stack scored from Rizzo and Cam Chin to make it 6-5.
Then, incredibly with just three seconds left, Rizzo completed his hat-trick, on assists from Lee and Lucas Barker, to send the game into OT.
BWC goaltender Nick Lee also had a huge third period as NAX outshot BWC 18-9 in the frame, to post a 41-26 NAX advantage after 60.
The teams battled through 3:10 of OT before Martin Rudolf ended the Wildcats’ fairytale on NAX’s first shot on goal.
Rizzo finished with 3G-2A; while d-men Kovich, Lee and Chin each notched a pair of assists. Nick Lee stopped 36-43.
Prokop and Wyatt each put up 3 points for NAX.
BWC will face Pacific Coast in two home games this coming weekend.
Only two other Prep games are on tap over the same stretch. Shawnigan Lake play Pacific Coast Wednesday, and Edge on Friday.
So with Delta and OHA Red off for the weekend, and Edge playing only a single game, four point sweep would vault BWC into a first place tie with Delta.
That would make things interesting going into the World Sports School Challenge (exhibition games) December 9 weekend in Calgary and even more so for the final game of 2016, away vs Delta on Saturday, December 17, at Planet Ice.
Delta will be coming off a game against Yale the previous afternoon, and could be either two points ahead, one point ahead or tied, come puck drop vs BWC – provided that is, BWC sweeps Pacific Coast this coming weekend.
And that of course, is not a given by any means.
Prep Division Standings, November 27, 2016