Bantam A2 Jets thrive on home ice again

Hosts capture Bantam AA title at 38th annual Richmond International Bantam Midget Hockey Tournament

The Richmond Bantam A2 Jets continued their history-making season on home ice.

Back in October, the Jets became the first team to win gold for the newly merged association at the Seafair Rep Icebreaker. Now they have done it again at the 38th annual Richmond International Bantam Midget Hockey Tournament.

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The Jets capped an impressive run in the 14-team Bantam AA Division with a 6-1 victory over the Portland Junior Ice Hawks on Monday at the Richmond Ice Centre.

The tournament success comes with the team enjoying a solid showing so far in the Pacific Coast Amateur Third Flight with an 8-3-3 record under head coach Glenn Wheeler and assistant Ryan Hart.

The Jets went unbeaten (2-0-2) in round-robin play then produced a pair of tight playoff victories to advance to the championship game.

A 2-0 quarter-final triumph over Cowichan Valley saw Veer Sadana score what proved to be the game winner in the final minute of the opening period. Noah Muraki added a third period insurance goal. Ali Keshvani earned the shutout in net.

A semi-final encounter with the Surrey A1 Thunder was another nail-biter as Jack Campbell’s unassisted goal in overtime gave the hosts a 2-1 victory. Timothy Woo had the other Richmond goal and Lauren Mackay enjoyed a strong game in net.

The gold medal tilt had the makings of another tight affair after the teams played to a 1-1 draw in round-robin play two days earlier.

However, the Jets blitzed their American visitors with three unanswered goals in the opening period — getting a pair from Dylan Nazareth and another from Teo Lin. Kyle Chan and Campbell increased the margin to 5-0 after 40 minutes and Richmond cruised to victory. Campbell’s second of the game closed out his team’s scoring while Sadana chipped in with three assists. Keshvani earned the victory in net.

Richmond’s earlier wins came against Surrey A2 (4-2) and Peninsula Eagles (2-0).

Rounding out the roster are: Braeden Sihota, Yushi Sakamoto, Ben Cowell, Evan Judge, Torin He, Tristan Baxter, Ryan Nimi, Bryce Strandt, Anand Badh, Justin Hong and Sampson Liu.

Other RIBMHT Division winners included Seattle Sno Kings U16 (Midget AAA), Arizona Junior Sun Devils (Midget AAA) and North Delta Bantam A2 (Bantam A).

The Midget A1 Jets saw their title hopes end with a heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss to Burnaby Minor after going 3-1 in round-robin play. The wild affair saw Burnaby take a 4-3 lead with 44 seconds remaining before Brice Kemp equalized for Richmond at the 19:58 mark with his second of the game.

Including tiering and regular season play, Burnaby has defeated the Jets three times this season.

The Midget A2 Jets were edged 3-2 by Arctic Lions in quarter-final play, while the Bantam A3 Jets dropped a 3-2 decision to eventual finalist North Delta A2 in their playoff game.


Richmond nearly made it two Bantam Division holday tournament titles after the A1 squad was edged 5-4 in overtime by the B.C. Central Zone Rockets in the Bantam AAA championship game at the Pat Quinn Classic in Burnaby on Monday.

It was the Jets only loss of the tournament after going 4-0 in round-robin play with convincing wins over Burnaby Minor (8-1), Arizona (8-0) and Golden State (6-0) and Central Zone (4-1). Playoff victories followed against Nanaimo (5-2) and West Vancouver Academy (4-2).

Josh Hikida was among the tournament’s top scorers with 16 points, including five goals.

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