December 4, 2018
with files from Mark Booth, Delta Optimist, photos by James Garrett
West Vancouver Warriors Academy are the winners of the inaugural Delta Wild Bantam Classic Tournament, played at Planet Ice in Delta this weekend.
The Warriors defeated Delta Hockey Academy’s Wild Green 5-3 in Sunday’s championship game after both teams had recorded semi-final triumphs in the morning.
In the semis West Van downed Okanagan Hockey Academy, while Delta Green defeated Burnaby Winter Club Academy (6-2).
In the Championship game, West Van opened up a 1-0 lead early on a power play goal from Lucas Sorace. The lead held until Carter MacAdams scored unassisted with 3:45 left in the period. But just over two minutes later, West Van regained the edge on another power play goal, this time from Conner Bedard.
Delta Green evened things at 2-2, after Niall Crocker notched the lone second period goal, on yet another power play.
The Warriors answered with an early even-strength third period goal by Bedard, and then went up 4-2 with 5:10 to go, on a goal from Fraser Minten.
Delta’s Mathew Ward made things interesting with a power play goal with 1:27 left, his fourth of the tournament. But Minten soon added the insurance on a shorthanded empty netter to seal the championship for the Warriors, 5-3 final.
Minten and Bedard both finished with 2G-1A to lead the Warriors, while Ward was 1G-1A.
Bedard lead the tournament in scoring (9G-5A), with Matthew Ward next (7G-5A).
Shots finished 43 – 26 for Delta. Ronin Geraghty stopped 40 for the Warriors, Harrison Meneghin back-stopped Delta Green.
The nine-team event featured seven academy teams and two minor hockey association entries. Other academy teams included the Yale Lions, St. George’s Saints, and co-host DHA White. The minor hockey association teams included Victoria Racquet Club the Calgary Royals.
The tournament all-star team included DHA Green members Mathew Ward (forward) and Henry Smith (defenceman). They were joined by goalie Kyle Kelsey (BWC), defenceman Mats Lingren (BWC) and fowards Conner Bedard (West Van) and Tyson Zimmer (OHA).
Smith was the lone D-man in the Top 20 offensive group.
DHA Greens’ road to the final began with round-robin wins over Calgary (6-3), Yale (5-4) and BWC (5-4), while dropping a 3-2 decision to West Van on Friday night in what proved to be a preview of the final.
West Van meanwhile had advanced on four straight wins – vs St. Georges (5-1), Delta Green (3-2), OHA (7-3), and Yale 2-1 (OT).
Co-host DHA White just missed out on a playoff berth, going 2-2 in preliminary play with wins over Calgary (6-4) and Victoria (1-0). It was a tight 6-5 loss to Okanagan that put them out of the final four.
The results closely reflected the current league standings in the hotly contested CSSHL Bantam Prep Division, where West Van leads with 13-2-1 OTL; BWC sits in the #2 spot at 13-5-1 OTL, and Delta Green is #3, though with the best winning percentage, and fewest losses, at 11-1-2 OTL.
Yale, who lost two tough one goal games in the tournament (5-4 to Delta Green and 2-1 in OT to West Van), is #4 in the league at 10-5-1 OTL, followed closely by St. Georges at 10-5-0.
Next weekend, DHA hosts a regular season Midget Prep Showcase at Planet Ice with games starting on Friday afternoon.