In what could be the first of several celebrations on home ice this season, the Richmond Midget “A” Ravens are champions of their own Seventh Annual Pacific Coast Female Rep Hockey Classic.
The Ravens capped a perfect run at the Richmond Ice Centre on the weekend with a 1-0 victory over the St. Albert Sharks in Sunday afternoon’s title game.
With nine returning players, the defending provincial champions have come storming out of the gate with 20 consecutive wins and certainly look like the early favourites when the Ravens’ host B.C. Hockey’s showcase tournament next March.
They dominated much of the championship game against their Alberta opponent but it wasn’t until the opening seconds of the 10-minute overtime period when U18 Team B.C.-bound Annalise Wong jumped on a turnover and set-up Julia Farkasch for the game’s only goal. Anna May earned the shutout.
“The first 10 minutes we were all over them and I think they had only two shots on net but their goaltender was exceptional,” said AJ Sander, the team’s long-time head coach who has his first Rep Classic title since 2014.
“What’s impressed me the most is the kids are working so hard. “I’m rolling over all my lines and everyone is pushing the envelope. If anything, our scores don’t reflect how much we are dominating our games.
“It’s the best start in my 13 years of doing this.”
Richmond’s road to gold included round-robin wins over Penticton (5-0), Victoria (4-2), Williams Lake (4-0) and Sherwood Park (3-1) as the tournament provided an excellent variety of out-of-town competition.
Friday’s windstorm resulted in two power outages in the Victoria game with the second one ultimately pre-maturely ending the contest. A berth in the final was secured with the victory over Sherwood Park on Saturday night.
St. Albert prevailed in a three-way tiebreaker with North Shore and Tri-Cities after each team finished round-robin play with 3-1 records.
The Ravens turn to Pacific Coast Amateur league play before their next event — the Pittsburgh Thanksgiving Tournament — in late November.
The team also features: Makenna Kusec, Calley Wong, Abigail Pogor, Molly Cho, Grace Wallace, Makayla Kusch, Sydney Payment, Olivia Northup, Taylor Griffith, Emma Tait, Emily Dragicevic, Ashley Specht, Makenna Burns and Madison Law. Assistant coaches Natasha Steblin and Rachel Coulson. Manager Sheryl Dragicevic and Safety Person Satie Bhatia-Sander.
An all-Alberta final saw Red Deer capture the Bantam title with a 4-1 win over Calgary. The host Ravens, coached by tournament co-director Natalie Korenic, finished with a 1-2-0 record in round-robin play.
Kelowna capped a dominating run in the Pee Wee Division with an 8-1 victory against Victoria in the title game.