March 19, 2019
West Van Bantam Varsity Win First Banner
Call it a dominant year.
In just the second year of the program, West Van Academy Warriors Bantam Varsity team dominated the regular season and then rolled through the playoffs – except for the final championship game – enroute to its first ever CSSHL Playoff Banner.
The team finished the regular season with a 27-2-1-1 record, scoring 219 Goals vs just 64 GA. That translates into an average score of 7.3 to 2.1 over the 30 games.
In the regular season, the team lost once to #2 Yale and once to #3 BWC. They finished 5 points up on Yale and 8 points up on BWC.
Offensively the team was led by four players who posted over 50 points – Kassius Kler (04) was 38G-28A; Andrew Lacroix (05) was 36G-30A, David Coyle (04) was 27G-30A, and Jake Gudelj (05) was 25G-27A.
Between the pipes Liam Hallett (05) and Sevek Sian (04) each played 15 games, and put up very similar numbers. Hallett was 13-1-1 with a 1.87 GGA and .923 save percentage, while Sian was 14-0-0, with a 2.24 GGA and .909 save percentage.
The team was head coached by Todd Harkins, who joined the program in the fall, after leaving the WHL Prince George Cougars franchise as GM. Harkins’ son Nicklas was also behind the bench as an assistant coach (program director Nate Fischer joined in for celebrations, in photo above, on right).
West Van outscored #9 International Hockey Academy 9-0 and #6 St. Georges 10-2 to advance to the semis where they defeated #5 Delta 8-3 to move to the finals vs BWC.
BWC had also played two games to advance to the semis, defeating #4 OHA 9-2, and #7 Edge, 11-1.
BWC met #2 Yale in the semis, and staged an incredible comeback from a 4-2 deficit early in the third, with three straight goals to take a 5-4 lead, and then close out with an empty netter, 6-4.
BWC outshot Yale 49-31 in the game, including 19-8 in the final frame.
So the stage was set for an exciting final between the top seeded West Van, and #3 BWC, who had just defeated the leagues’ #2 team.
Championship Game 5-4 OTW
In the final, both teams stormed out of the gate, scoring three each in the first period.
BWC went up 4-3 on the only goal scored in the second frame, outshooting West Van 17-6 in the period, as West Van took three straight penalties.
The tables were turned in the third though – West Van scored early on the power play to even it up and outshot BWC 13-6 to force OT.
In OT, it was WV’s leading scorer, Kassius Kler who notched the winner, and delivered the Championship banner.
Shots finished 33-32 for BWC.
West Van’s Kassius Kler finished at the top of the playoff leaderboard, with 8G-3A in 4 games played. Team mates Jake Gudelj and Andrew Lacroix, were tied in fourth overall with 8 points each.
Related News – West Van Bantam Prep – Close but no cigar
West Van’s Bantam Prep team also had a strong year, finishing second overall in the regular season, two points back of Delta Green, with a record of 23-6-1.
They went 3-0 in the Bantam Prep round robin, downing #8 Rink 3-2, #9 Edge 7-3, and #7 OHA 2-1, before falling in a semi-final shoot out to eventual champion Yale, 4-3, who came is as the #4 seed.
Yale went on to defeat #10 Northern Alberta 3-1 in the final, outshooting NAX 53-21.
Yale got to the finals after losing 3-2 to #6 OHA Edmonton in the opener, and then downing #3 BWC 6-5 in game two and #5 St. Georges 2-1 in game 3.
West Van Varsity Team Playoff Stats