The North Shore Winter Club Bantam A1 team has booked its third straight trip to the Western Canadian Bantam Championships, held this year in Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 2-5.
The team, along with their rivals from the Burnaby Winter Club dominated PCAHA league play in the regular season. NSWC posted a record of 17-0-3, while BWC were two points behind at 16-1-3, their lone loss a 3-0 decision to North Shore on December 19.
BWC got their revenge on March 2, winning the PCAHA Playoff title with a 3-2 win vs NSWC and setting the stage for a potential third straight rematch in the BC Championship game, as both teams advanced to the provincials as the top two PCAHA teams.
But it was not to be. After starting with a 7-0 win over Prince George, the #1 seeded Bruins were shocked 4-2 by Victoria Racquet Club in game three, setting up a must win scenario vs NSWC the next day.
NSWC had opened with a 7-0 win over Kelowna, and then with a 7-2 win vs PG and a 5-2 win vs Kamloops on day two.
But the big game on day three quickly turned into a one-sided affair as the Winterhawks’ Luka Burzan scored on the first shift, and Jackson Leppard on the next, to open a 2-0 lead after three minutes. Burzan then scored short-handed with about seven minutes to go in the frame, to close out the period 3-0.
The Bruins had an opportunity to get back into it when Hawk’s Liam Kindree was accessed a five minute major at the start of the second. But Burzan quickly put an end to the comeback opportunity, scoring his second short-handed.
D-man Eathan Capp scored near the end of the period to give the Hawks a 5-0 lead after two.
The Winterhawks scored one more in the third to close out the Bruins 6-0, and eliminate them from contention. Donovan Busky booked his second shutout in the series with the win.
VRC downed PG 3-0 in the morning, and then closed out Kelowna 5-3, to post a 4-0-0 record and set up the trip to the final vs NSWC.
The two undefeated teams then faced each other in their final round robin game the next morning at 11:00.
As the Championship matchup was already determined, both teams rested their top players in preparation for the 8:00 pm game. The game ended with 6-0 NSWC win, with Nik Hoem getting the shutout.
The round robin game turned out to be a precursor of the Championshiop game. In the 8:00 pm final, the Hawk’s Jackson Leppard poured it on with a four goal performance to lead the North Shore to a 6-1 win and another trip to the Westerns.
Other teams contending for the Westerns:
Alberta: Rocky Mountain Raiders (Okotoks) and Fort Saskatchewan Rangers (final March 24).
Saskatchewan: Yorkton (30-1-0) or Sask Valley (22-7-2), play 3 game final series starting March 22-March 28.
Manitoba: Winnipeg Warriors plus one TBD.
Final 2015 BC Provincial Championship Final Standings:
|Tier 1 – Host Kelowna|
|1. North Shore Winter Club 6-0-0, 12 pts.|
|2. Victoria Racquet Club 4-2-0, 8 pts.|
|3. Burnaby Winter Club 3-2-0, 6 pts|
|4. Kamloops 1-3-1, 3 pts.|
|5. Kelowna 1-4-0, 2 pts|
|6. Prince George 0-4-1, 1 pts|
2015 Bantam Tier 1 Scores: