The host Richmond Jets soared to a pair of championships at the 16th annual Seafair Ice Breaker Rep Tournament.
The 48-team tourney was the first major event hosted by the newly-merged city minor hockey association that is continuing many of the traditions and programs established by Seafair and Richmond Minor over the years. This year’s Icebreaker attracted teams from throughout B.C. and the Pacific Northwest to do battle in eight divisions — ranging from Atom to Midget.
An action-packed four-day schedule concluded with some terrific championship games on Monday.
The Jets captured the Midget Tier One title with a 4-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. It proved to be a much tighter affair than an early round-robin meeting that saw Richmond roll to a 7-0 triumph.
The hosts actually opened the tournament without a win through two games — playing to a 3-3 draw with Juan de Fuca then being edged 2-1 by Saanich before battling back into contention with an 8-0 romp of South Delta.
The Jets then defeated Juan de Fuca 2-1 in Monday morning’s semi-final game while Portland trimmed Saanich 3-2 to also advance.
Richmond’s other title came in the Bantam Tier Two division thanks to a thrilling 5-4 win in a shootout over Seattle — handing the American squad its only loss of the tournament.
That result avenged a 7-0 defeat to Seattle two days earlier. Richmond went on to clinch a semi-final berth with wins over Juan de Fuca (5-0), Saanich (3-2) and Semiahmoo (4-0) before producing another shutout victory over Saanich (3-0) in the semi-finals on Monday morning.
Richmond rep teams also contended for titles in other divisions.
The Jets advanced to Monday morning’s Atom Tier Two championship game before dropping a 4-2 decision to Nanaimo. The locals had gone unbeaten in round-robin play (4-0-1).
The Atom Tier One team was a tough 3-2 semi-final loss to Kelowna from playing for the championship. Richmond had won three of four round-robin games to advance to the semis.
The Jets also turned in an impressive performance in the Pee Wee Tier One Division, overcoming some injuries to reach the semi-finals before dropping a 1-0 decision to Kamloops. Richmond had earlier produced four straight wins in round-robin.