March 19, 2019
BWC Elite 15 Playoff Results – Silver
Over the weekend, Burnaby Winter Club’s Elite 15 team competed in the CSSHL league championships in Penticton.
They were hoping to wrap up an exceptional season, with a Championship banner, to go alongside the regular season banner they’d already won.
And they nearly did it.
The team had finished up the regular season with a 27-3-6 record, four points more than #2 Delta, and five more than #3 Northern Alberta.
They came through the round robin with three straight wins, to finish as the #1 seed in the crossover semi-final, where they met hometown rival, #2 Delta.
And they prevailed again, winning their fourth game, 5-2 to head to the finals.
But in the end, they’d take home Silver, losing the Championship game, 2-1 vs the Xtreme.
Overall, it an incredible season for BWC’s E15s, many of whom will likely be playing BWC Midget Prep next season, and looking for another crack at a title or two.
Here’s a recap of the BWC E15 playoff run.
Round Robin: 5-1 W vs OHA, 5-4 W vs Rink, 6-5 SOW vs Prairie
As the top seed, BWC faced the #4, #5, and #8 seeded teams in round robin play.
Game 1 – 5-1 W vs OHA Edmonton
The playoff round robin matches began on Wednesday, March 13 where BWC took on #8 OHA Edmonton (17-17-2) in game 1.
The score was 1-1 after the first period but BWC took over with two powerplay goals in the second period, eventually winning 5-1.
Michael Abgrall had a goal and two assists and Mason Dunsford stopped 27 of 28 shots in goal to secure the opening win.
Shots were 33-28 BWC
Game 2 – 5-4 W vs Rink
Thursday’s game against #4 seeded Rink (25-8-3) was a tight one but ultimately BWC came out on top thanks to a great performance from Dunsford.
Rink heavily outshot BWC – 51-30 in the game, after BWC had held a 17-14 edge, and 3-2 lead in the first.
But it was a different story in the second and third, with Rink throwing 37 shots on Dunsford.
In the end, he made 47 saves total, including 20 in the final frame after Rink came into the period trailing 5-3.
Rink’s Garett Zasitko scored with 5:31 left to make it interesting, but they couldn’t find the equalizer, and BWC closed it out 5-3, for their second playoff win.
Game 3 – 6-5 SOW vs Prairie
BWC made it 3-0 in round robin play after posting a 6-5 SO win against Prairie (23-12-0) on Friday.
Prairie scored two goals in the first two minutes to shock BWC a bit, but they battled back quickly and eventually evened things up at 3-3 early in the second.
But another two Prairie goals made it 5-3 at the end of the second.
BWC pressed hard, and tied it up with the only two goals in the third, on markers from Milo Schneidmiller and Josh Wessels.
After a scoreless overtime, Matthew Seminoff scored the only goal in the shootout to win it for BWC.
Tanner Johnson made 37 saves and another three in the shootout for the win.
BWC’s 3-0 round robin record gave them the top spot in Group A, but with #2 Delta and #3 Northern Alberta advancing in Group B, the competition promised to be intense in the next two rounds.
Semi-final: 5-2 W vs Delta
BWC and Delta had been rivals all season long. Three of their four regular season games required a shootout and the other one was a one-goal game.
BWC found themselves on the wrong side of most of those regular season games with a 1-1-2 record vs Delta, so they were gunning for a big turn around.
And they got it. This game was all BWC from the get-go.
Chase Sandhu opened the scoring 7:38 into the game and Davis Sato doubled the lead at the 14:20 mark. A power play goal by Matthew Campbell in the final minute gave BWC a commanding 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Delta responded 1:29 into the second but Rocco La Carra reinstated the three-goal lead just over two minutes later.
Delta scored before the middle frame ended to make it 4-2, but Sandhu’s second goal with 17:20 left in the game gave BWC a commanding 5-2 lead that they would ride until the final buzzer.
After a season-long duel with Delta in the standings, BWC got the even in the playoffs, eliminating their rival en route to the finals.
Finals: 2-1 L vs NAX
Sunday’s final started off in BWC’s favour. Marcus Taylor opened the scoring with 4:12 left in the first period on a goal assisted by Abgrall, to make it 1-0 after 20.
NAX outshot BWC 13-10 in the frame.
It was the opposite in the second period.
BWC dominated shots 19-7 but NAX scored two goals a minute apart t0 take a 2-1 lead. The first was on a power play just over four minutes in.
BWC had a late second period powerplay to try and tie the game but couldn’t convert, and entered the third trailing by one.
The third period was a tight checking affair, with no penalties called. BWC only managed six shots on goal vs nine by NAX, as they battled to hold their one goal lead.
In the end, BWC couldn’t beat NAX goaltender Tyler Palmer a second time and NAX would hoist the Championship banner, on 2-1 final score.
Dunsford was strong again for BWC, having stopped 27 of 29 shots and collecting a .931 SV% over the playoffs to lead all E-15 goalies.
While it wasn’t the ending BWC hoped for – it was nevertheless a great season for the teams, with plenty to be proud of – a regular season banner and Silver medal in playoffs.
BWC’s Matthew Seminoff, Michael Abgrall, and Chase Sandu finished 1-2-3 in playoff scoring. Josh Wessels and Rocco La Cara also finished in the Top 15.
Mason Dunsford finished #2 in save percentage with .931 in over four games.
BWC Player Stats (Playoffs):
|13||Rocco La Cara||03||F||5||3||2||5||1||1||0||1||2|
Goalie stats (Playoffs):