March 20, 2019
The Yale Lions are the new CSSHL Bantam Prep division champions, after downing a feisty Northern Alberta team, 3-1 in the Championship Final in Penticton on Sunday.
Yale had finished the regular season as the #4 ranked team, with a record of 20-6-4.
The fourth place finish placed them in Pool B for the round robin, with #3 BWC, #5 St. Georges, and #6 OHA Edmonton.
On the other side, Pool A consisted of six teams, #1 Delta Green, #2 West Van, and the 7, 8, 9, and 10 seeds – Okanagan, Rink, Edge, and NAX respectively. Delta, West Van and NAX each faced off vs the 7, 8 and 9 ranked teams, with #9 Edge playing #10 NAX plus the two top ranked teams.
In Pool B, Yale met #6 seed OHA Edmonton in game one, and lost it 3-2; before coming back with a huge 6-5 win over BWC in game two, and finishing with a tight 2-1 decision over #5 St. Georges to complete the round robin.
OHA Edmonton meanwhile, went on to post an 6-5 OTL to St. George’s for one point, and a 4-3 shootout win over BWC, to finish first in Pool B and move on to the semis, where they lost 4-0 to NAX in the cross over.
NAX had advanced to the semis on a Goals For and Goals Against tie breaker, after having posted the same 2-1-0-0 record as #1 ranked Delta Green and #9 ranked Edge. NAX had downed #7 Okanagan 5-2 and #8 Rink 4-1 before dropping game three to Edge 3-2.
Yale Playoff Game Recaps
Game 1, 3-2 Loss to OHA Edmonton
OHA Edmonton’s Koen Ziemmer scored the only goal of the third to sink Yale in their opener.
Each team had scored a single goal in each of the two previous periods.
OHA’s Tanner Scott had opened the scoring on an early power play only to have Yale’s Hayden Smith bounce right back 31 seconds later, to even it up 1-1 after twenty minutes, with Yale outshooting OHA Edmonton 12-7.
Keaton Dowhaniuk scored late in the second for OHA, but again Yale responded quickly a goal from Graydon Siepmann to finish the period at 2-2.
Yale outshot OHA Edmonton 19-14 in the third, but couldn’t find the equalizer. Shots finished 45-32 for Yale.
Kolby Hay stopped 29 for Yale, Justen Maric got the win for OHA Edmonton.
Game 2, 6-5 Win vs BWC
This one was a good ole rock ’em sock ’em barn burner, full of twists and turns, as the two teams took turns going hot and going cold.
The first period started innocuously enough.
BWC’s Brandon Lisowsky opened the scoring about five minutes in, only to be answered about three minutes later by Yale’s Hayden Smith. A couple of minutes later, BWC’s Adam Lore put BWC up again, and the period finished 2-1 BWC. Shots were 14-11 BWC, and Yale made a goalie change.
In the second, Yale went on a tear. Brayden Edwards scored three and Carter Streek got two, as Yale put up five unanswered over a ten minute stretch on seven shots to make it 6-2 end of two.
But BWC was not going to roll over and call it quits. They came back in the third with three unanswered of their own, from three different players, but couldn’t get the equalizer before the buzzer went, 6-5 Yale.
Game 3, 2-1 Win vs St. Georges
With just one point on the books coming into this game, a win was essential if Yale hoped to move on. St. Georges had dropped both of their openers, 6-5 to BWC and 6-5 in OT to OHA Edmonton, and were essentially out of the running at game time.
But that didn’t stop them from coming out hard and giving Yale a very good game.
In a strange twist, all of the scoring was done in the first period. Yale went up two on goals from Brayden Salesman and Ben Thorton (SH), before Thomas Tien scored on a power play for St. Georges.
Shots were 13-12 Yale in the period.
Shots were again very even over the last two periods, with both goalies posting 40 minute shut outs.
Jaiden Sharma stopped 35 for St. George’s while Kolby Hay stopped 33 for Yale.
Semifinal – 4-3 SO vs West Van
The semi final promised to be a thriller, with #1 ranked West Van coming in on a 3-0-0 record, defeating Rink 3-2, Edge 7-3 and Okanagan 2-1.
The game certainly lived up to expectations, with teams matching each other in scoring in each of three periods.
Period one was scoreless, with Yale outshooting West Van 10-7.
West Van’s Connor Bedard got things rolling with a goal just 16 seconds into the second period. Yale’s Brandon Whynott finally evened it out at 1-1, with about six minutes left in the second. Yale again outshot West Van, this time 14-8.
The third got off to a terrific start for Yale, as they went up by two on goals from Zach Benson and Hayden Smith in the first half of the period.
But West Van came back to tie it up with two of their own, on markers from Fraser Minton and Jonathan Corbett, to close it out 3-3.
Overtime solved nothing and the game went to a shoot out.
Yale’s Grayden Siepman failed to score on the first shot, Andrey Kovacevic missed for West Van. Ben Thorton got the next one, and WV’s Connor Bedard missed. Yale’s Hayden Smith then closed the door with the Lion’s second shoot-out marker.
Shots finished 39-30 for Yale. Scoring was evenly distributed with no one scoring more than one point in regular time.
Ronin Geraghty stopped 36 for West Van. Kolby Hay stopped 30 for Yale.
Championship Final – 3-1 Win vs Northern Alberta
The final started at 8:15 AM Sunday, with both teams no doubt tired, running on adrenaline and busted up to some degree.
And while it turned out that there was no shortage of scoring opportunities, particularly for Yale, there wasn’t a lot of scoring.
After the first, Yale led 1-0 on a goal from Brayden Edwards, shots were 15-9 Yale.
In the second, each team scored once, with NAX evening it up early, on a marker from Billai Noori, and Yale then going ahead 2-1 in the middle of the period on a goal from Braden Schuuman. Shots were again almost double in Yale’s favor, 17-9.
In the third, it was all Yale, firing 21 shots at NAX’s Erick Roest, scoring once on the power play near the middle of the frame, on a goal from Carter Streek, to wrap up the scoring.
Roest finished with 50 stops.
Kolby Hay again notched the winner, stopping 20 of 21, to deliver the banner for Yale.
Yale Playoff Team Stats: