March 1, 2013 – Cinderella’s choice of footwear these days might be $800 skates. The final four teams in the Midget Tier 1 playoffs include a couple of teams that few predicted would have made it this far.
The Seafair Islanders A1 came into the playoffs seeded 14th of 16 teams. They defeated third seeded Richmond in their opening round (a 2-2 tie and a 1-0 win) before knocking off league regular season winners North Vancouver earlier this week. The Islanders opened their race to four points series against North Vancouver with a 2-2 tie, which was followed by a 2-0 loss in game two. With the Islanders’ playoff hopes on the line, they gutted out an impressive 6-1 win, setting up a winner take all game four on Wednesday.
Seafair and North Vancouver were deadlocked at 1-1 midway through the third period of that deciding game when North Vancouver went ahead 2-1 thanks to a powerplay goal. With their backs against the wall, Seafair rallied with two late goals, plus an empty netter, to take the game 4-2. With the series win, Seafair will aim to continue their playoff magic, as they take on second seeded Langley A1. Game one is on Saturday.
Cloverdale A1 had a much stronger regular season than Seafair, so they are not quite the same underdog story, but they have made it to the final four as the 6th seed. The Colts cruised past 12th seeded Burnaby in their opening round before lining up against fifth seed Hollyburn.
Cloverdale took the opening game against the Huskies 4-2, before pushing Hollyburn to the brink with a 2-2 tie. Credit the Huskies, who fought their way back into the series with a 4-1 win in game three, but the Colts proved to be the more resilient team, taking the deciding game four by a 4-1 score. With the win, the Colts will face number four seed Semiahmoo A1, starting on Saturday.
The favourites had little problem cruising into the final four. Semiahmoo advanced after tying Chilliwack once and beating them twice, while Langley swept through Abbotsford in back to back wins.