Richmond's Glenn Gawdin had a leading role in Team B.C. winning gold for the very first time at the Western Canada U16 Challenge in Calgary.
The tournament, now in its third year, sees 80 of the top prospects from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. battle it out for western Canadian supremacy. B.C. capped an unbeaten run with a dominating 9-3 victory over two-time defending champion Team Alberta on Sunday.
Gawdin had a goal and two assists as B.C. pulled away with three unanswered goals in the second period after a wild opening 20 minutes produced a 6-3 lead.
B.C. opened the tournament with a 4-3 shootout win over Alberta. Gawdin had a pair of assists. He then earned player-of-the-game honours thanks to a two goals, including one shorthanded, in a 4-1 victory against Saskatchewan. B.C. then closed out round-robin play with a 5-2 win over Manitoba to clinch a spot in the gold medal game.
Gawdin was taken fifth overall by the Swift Current Broncos in last spring's Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. The 15year-old forward now plays for the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League's Vancouver Canadians after coming through Seafair Minor's rep program.
The Canadians had four others on the Team B.C. roster - forwards Adam Musil, Justin Szeto, defenceman Ty Schultz and goaltender Taz Burman.
The team was coached by Richmond native Ryan Weber while local resident Mitch Pinsky served a director of hockey operations.
Even without five key players, the Canadians managed to win both their games last weekend against the North Island Silvertips.
Goals from Seafair grad Austin Adamson and rookie Otis Goldman were all Greater Vancouver would need in a 2-1 game one victory.
Game two was another tight affair with Alec Dawydiak, another Seafair grad, providing the difference in a 3-2 win. Jacob Wozney and Adamson also scored as the Canadians improved to 5-6-1 on the season.
They host the Kootenay Ice this weekend at the Richmond Olympic Oval with game times slated for 4: 15 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Icing... - Forward Leah Lum and defenceman Jodi Gentile will be playing for Team B.C. at this week's National U18 Women's Championships in Dawson Creek.
The tournament brings together all-star teams made up of the best female hockey players born 1992 or later.
B.C. opens round-robin play today against Saskatchewan and then will take on Ontario Red and Alberta. The host province tuned-up for the event by dropping a 4-3 decision to Quebec in a shootout on Sunday. Lum was among the B.C. goals scorers.