PCAHA Midget A1 – Group 3
The top two teams in Group 3 face-off Sunday night in a game that will determine first place and perhaps propel the NSWC A2-T2 team into up a flight, or possibly two for regular season play.
The A2 Winterhawks come into their final game of placement with just a single loss – last Monday night in Mission, when they dropped a 4-1 empty net decision, to stand at 4-1-2-6, with 16 pts.
They’ll face Burnaby Minor A1-T1, who come into the match with 4W and 3L, and 15 pts.
A strong performance by the Hawks could mean a move up two Flights – based on special circumstances surrounding the NSWC midget program below (details below).
The Winterhawks have allowed fewer than 2 goals a game, and are posting the lowest GA record by far in the Group, at just 12.
Three teams, including Burnaby Minor, Mission and Port Moody, are next with 18 GA.
Mission are also just a point back of the Winterhawks, with a 3-2-2-7 record. They’ll play 8th place Coquitlam at 2-3-2-6, in their final game Monday night, and could finish first depending on what happens in the NSWC-Burnaby game.
South Delta A1 are the fourth contender for first place. With a game to play, they’re just two points behind NSWC A2, with a record of 4-2-1-7. South Delta finish with a game vs Port Moody, who have the same W-L-T record, but one less sporty.
Three other teams also share a 13 point record, along with fourth place Port Moody. Port Coquitlam A1 at 3-2-2-5 are in fifth, while North Vancouver and Ridge Meadows are in sixth and seventh place with 2-4-2-7 records.
Ninth place South Delta A1-T1 are in an interesting position. They could leap all the way to first place, as they have have two games in hand, and could add six points to their current total of 11.
Seattle Sno-Kings also have two games to play. They are currently in last place with 1-5-0-4, 6 pts.
The new NSWC situation.
What’s unique about the NSWC A2s this year is the effect of a move by NSWC hockey administrators to develop a new Elite midget program.
The new program, designed to mimic Academy programs with the whole team taking off a school period in the afternoon to train together, clearly was not going to appeal to the majority of undrafted grade 11 and grade 12 NSWC rep midget players, now mainly focusing on getting into post-secondary schools, and taking full course loads.
The upshot of the new program was to move eight players from last year’s A1 team, onto the A2 program – and to start the placement round in Group 3.
Players and hockey administrators however, were under the understanding the exceptional circumstances surrounding the two teams would be recognized and that both teams would play in the same tier for the coming season.
Lending strength to the argument were the results of the only head to head between the two teams, in early season exhibition play, when the current A2 team downed the A1 team in a close game.