November 22, 2017
St. George’s Academy, the newest Canadian Sports School Hockey League bantam team, have returned to home to Vancouver as Champions of 45th Annual Medicine Hat Hounds Major Bantam tournament.
The tournament has long been regarded as hosting many of the top bantam teams in Western Canada, although for the last few years it has had to compete with rival Rocky Mountain Classic in Calgary (though the two no longer square off on the same weekend).
St. Georges defeated Sherwood Park 5-2 in the final on Sunday, outshooting them 45-16, scoring four goals in the third period, to overcome an earlier 2-0 deficit. Sherwood Park are currently the #2 team in the Northern Alberta division of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (8-5-1).
Another BC team, Delta Academy (White) brought home the Bronze, defeating Saskatchewan’s Prince Albert 6-3. Prince Albert is the top ranked team in the Northern division of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League (12-0-1). Delta are currently #9 in the Prep division of the CSSHL (4-5-1).
St. George’s started the tournament the tournament with a 4-1 win over West Central (Moose Jaw, #2 in SBAAHL North 11-1-1) in their first game Thursday, November 16, and then downed Fort Saskatchewan 6-1 (#5 ABHL North, 7-6-2) on Friday morning and defeated Edmonton Knights of Columbus 8-0 (1-13-1), Friday evening to finish the round robin 3-0-0.
On Saturday morning they won their quarter final match vs Northern Alberta’s Grand Peace 6-2 (#2 AMBL North, 8-7-1) to advance to the semi-final Saturday evening.
Delta tied Swift Current 3-3 (#1 SBAAHL South, 13-1-0) in the first game of the tournament Thursday afternoon, then faced Edmonton South Side Athletic Club (#6 AMBHL North, 7-7-2), Friday morning, losing 4-3. Friday evening, they downed Spruce Grove 6-3, to finish 1-1-1, good enough for second place in their pool, and a spot in the quarter-finals vs Medicine Hat’s South East Athletic Club who had finished first in their pool with a 2-1-0 record.
In the quarter-final Saturday morning, Delta came out on top with a solid 5-1 win vs SEAC to move on to the semis – vs. St. Georges.
In the semi Saturday evening, St. George’s prevailed 3-1 over Delta, to move on the final Sunday morning, vs Sherwood Park.
Sherwood Park had come through with a 2-1-0 record to face Ft. Saskatchewan in the quarter-finals, where they squeaked out a 1-0 decision to match up with Prince Albert in the semi, where they won another one goal decision, 4-3 to move on to the Championship game.
St. George’s Trevor Wong was Player of the Tournament, MVP and Top Scorer, with 14G – 5A, 19 points, one up on Prince Albert’s Gabe Klassen, 11G-8A.
St. George’s Oliver Gabrielson was the tournament’s top offensive d-man, with 3G-7A, and was named Best Defenceman.
St. George’s coach Yogi Svejkovsky was named Best Coach.
St. George’s currently plays in the Varsity division of the CSSHL Bantam league, along with their second team; as a consequence of being a first year organization league – which stipulates all newcomers to the league start in the second tier Varsity division.
The new team also competed in the Chilliwack bantam tournament in October, traditionally the first of the big Western Canadian tournaments, where they defeated Delta Green 3-2, in the quarter-finals, before falling 3-1 to OHA Penticton in the semis.
As a result of their strong showing, St. George’s have been invited to the 40th Annual John Reid Tournament, in St. Albert, January 18-21, the premier major bantam tournament in Western Canada.
Delta have also been invited, along with the Airdrie Extreme, who defeated Delta for Bronze in the Rocky Mountain Classic.
Other invitees include the Los Angeles Kings, who won the Rocky Mountain Classic this year, in a 5-4 (SO) win vs the CSSHL’s top team, Northern Alberta Extreme, who will also being attending.
Other top CSSHL teams attending include: BWC, OHA Penticton, and Yale from BC, plus OHA Edmonton, and Rink from Winnipeg.
Non-academy teams include Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, Calgary Bisons, Lethbridge Golden Hawks, Calgary Royals, Sherwood Park Flyers (silver at MH), and host St. Albert Sabres.