NSWC BANTAM REP REPORT – Jan 13, 2014
The four NSWC bantam rep teams are all enjoying very solid runs so far this year.
Bantam A1 – 1st Flight 1. Firing on all cylinders.
The Bantam A1 team has been virtually unstoppable again this year. They’re ranked number 1 in Western Canada and are in solid position to defend their BC Tier 1 Provincial Championship in March.
The team is leading the PCAHA conference with a record of 13-1-1, the only hiccups coming from a 2-1 loss to Seafair Nov 22 after their return from the Medicine Hat tournament, where the team was stricken by the flu virus and had to withdraw from the semi final; and a 3-3 tie with BWC in mid December. The team has only been scored against in four games.
The Winterhawks will face much tougher competition this week when they travel to Edmonton to defend another title, as 2013 champions of the St. Albert John Reid Memorial tournament, one of the most prestigious AAA bantam tournaments in Canada.
The Winterhawks will have to be ready for the regular season again as soon as they get back as the three toughest Lower Mainland rivals will be coming at them as hard as they can once the PCAHA finals start.
Langley Eagles gave the Hawks a great game Sunday night, holding the formidable NSWC offense at bay in a 2-1 loss. BWC is always tough, and tied the Winterhawks 3-3 in their last contest in early-December. Seafair has shown they can play, also holding the offense off in a 2-0 loss.
Bantam A2 – T4th, Flight 2
The skies are looking brighter for NSWC A2s these days, and not just because the BWC A2s have been moved up to Flight 1. After an abysmal injury plagued 0-4-1 start, the team went on a mini three game winning streak in early December, and now have settled into a win one, lose one cycle that’s been good enough to get them within one point of third place Chilliwack.
The team won a confidence boosting bronze at the KIBHIT Tier 2 tournament over the Christmas break, posting a 5-0-1 record, losing only to eventual winner, Penticton A1.
The BWC A2 promotion to Flight 1 at the break, has moved Mission A1 into first place in Flight 2 with 35 points, Cloverdale A1 is in second with 32 points, and Chilliwack A1s are in third with 28 points. Ridge Meadows are tied with the Hawks in fourth place.
The bad news is the Hawks will face all of the teams ahead of them in during their five game regular season finish.
But then the clock is reset, with the Tier 2 facing each other in playoffs. Only Mission A1s and BWC A2s are ahead of the Hawks in the T2 race at the moment. Still a strong finish against the top teams in the league will be a key to the team doing well in the playoffs against the other top T2 teams.
Bantam A3 – T1st in Flight 4.
The bantam A3 Winterhawks’ record of 10-2-2 has placed them at the top of the Flight 4 group, tied with the Seattle Sno-Kings A1 team, and four points ahead of second place Sunshine Coast A1-T3.
The team is currently the second ranked A3 team in the league, behind Langley A3 who are playing up a flight and posting a 3-7-3 record. The two teams have not played each other this year in tournaments, so head to head comparisons are impossible.
In late December the Winterhawks travelled to West Kelowna and played in a Tier 2 tournament in preparation for possible run against the bigger A1 teams they’ll face provided they can get through the PCAHA finals. The team was competitive against the T2 teams, winning 3-2 over South Okanagan before losing 3-1 and 3-0 to eventual tournament winner West Kelowna.
The team has just learned it’s hosting the Final 4 PCAHA so the pressure is on to perform well over the stretch run, which includes games against all of the other top 4 teams, Seattle, Sunshine Coast and South Delta.
The team’s stingy 19 GA record has been a key to their success, as scoring has been a challenge for the mainly first year shooters. IIf the team can find more scoring punch and keep the tough defense in play, they will be competing for a banner in at the beginning of February.
Bantam A4 – 2nd Place in Flight 7.
The Bantam A4 team has been playing very well, racking up a 9-3-2 record and has now moved into sole possession of second place, with 31 points, 8 points behind Ridge Meadows A4-T4.
The team pushed their winning streak to four with 5-4 win Monday vs South Delta. Next up is a huge game for the Hawks, as they take on Ridge in Pitt Meadows.
The team will finish the regular season with games against the other top teams in the division; T-Birds (6th), North Delta (3rd) and Semiahmoo (4th).
Wins against Ridge and North Delta would give the team a huge boost going into playoffs.