The North Vancouver Juvenile A1 Storm are the 2016 BC Juvenile 1 Provincial Champions, after downing host Ridge Meadows Moose, 8-3, in front of over 400 spectators at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge, on Sunday, March 20.
North Vancouver had opened up their 4-0-1 run to the final with a 3-0 shutout of league champion North Delta, in an early afternoon game on Thursday, March 17,
After a quick turn around, the Storm were back on the ice at 7:15 pm, to face Ridge Meadows, who were also playing their second game of the day, after opening with a 6-2 win over Langley Eagles in the morning. The teams battled hard, and eventually Ridge Meadows would seal it with a 4-2 win, handing the Storm their only loss in the round robin.
On day 2, Friday, the Storm opened up a comfortable 5-1 lead over Langley going into the third, only to see it evaporate as the Eagles stormed back to tie it up 5-5. With just 30 seconds remaining, the Storm pulled a win out of the fire with a power play goal, to finish it at 6-5. Langley were playing their second game of the day, after downing Juan de Fuca 10-6 in an 8:00 am game.
In game 3 late Saturday afternoon, the Storm wracked up a 15-3 win over Juan de Fuca to put themselves in contention for a berth in the Final, with a 3-0-1 record.
On Sunday morning, the Storm faced off against a very quick and hungry Vancouver Spirit team who were also 3-1-0, after dropping a 4-2 decision to Ridge Meadows in their second game of the day on Friday. With a trip the finals on the line, both teams battled hard, but it was the Storm who came out on top, 5-3, to book their ticket to the Championship game at 8:00 pm, with a 4-0-1 record.
Ridge Meadows meanwhile, were also 3-0-1, after dropping their 4th game, 4-3 to North Delta in the final game Saturday night, and had to win their final round robin game at 1:30 pm Sunday, to advance to the final. The Rustlers faced off against winless Juan de Fuca, and closed them out 12-2, to move on to the Final and the rematch vs Storm.
In the Championship game later that evening was a totally different story than the first time around, as the Storm broke out for 49 shots and 8 goals, including a hat trick by Liam Smith, and were backstopped by a stellar performance from James Peakman who made 39 saves, en route to an 8-3 victory and the Provincial Championship.
It was a perfect finish to the Storm 2015/16 season, especially for the five third year Juvenile players who played their final year of Minor hockey: Callum Glass, Chris McIlroy, Brian McNally, Brady Sinnott and Thomas Winckers.
Congratulations to the Storm and kudos to the Rustlers and to all the organizers and volunteers in Maple Ridge who hosted the Championship, and to the other four teams who competed hard for the BC banner.