The NSWC Bantam A1 Winterhawks have emerged as the victors at the John Reid Memorial Tournament in St. Albert, AB. With the game deadlocked at 2-2 in overtime, Justin Almeida bounced a backhand shot off a defender and past SSAC Lions goaltender Stuart Skinner to lock up the gold medal for the Winterhawks.
Jordy Bellerive started the scoring for the Winterhawks, notching his fifth goal in six games in the final minute of the first period on a wrester from top of left circle. The Lions fought back, squaring the game at 1-1 only seconds into the middle frame, on a point shot from David Quenneville. The Winterhawks were then able to re-establish their lead, as Dante Hannoun scored on the powerplay. It was his sixth goal of the tournament.
The lead held til Quenneville capitalized on a power play opportunity for the Lions with just over 13 minutes to play in the third on another shot from the blue line through a screen of defenders.
The goal sparked the Lions and they carried the momentum into overtime, blasting shots from top of an umbrella. Hawks tender Dorin Luding made some terrific stops in through first seven minutes.
Then the Hawks broke out and into the Lions zone, with Tak Anholt feeding Justin Alemeida a pass in the slot. Almeida’s quick backhand under forecheck pressure found the net over Skinner’s blocker and the game was won.
“Ya boys, we won it. Truly no better feeling,” said Brady Chin via Twitter following the game.
“Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what we have here tonight,” said Jordy Bellerive prior to puck drop.
This was the second time the Winterhawks have won this tournament. Their last victory came in 2002. It was also the second year in a row that a BC based team has taken home the hardware, with the Cloverdale Colts having won the 2012 tournament.