Ravens ready to defend provincial title on home ice

Richmond Midget "A" girls hockey team looks to cap another dominant season in style next week

It’s familiar territory in more ways than one as the Richmond Ravens look to cap another dominant season at BC Hockey’s Provincial Midget “A” Girls Championships.

The Ravens not only have a number of players back from last year’s championship team, they will enjoy home ice advantage for the eight team event that runs from March 19-22 at the Richmond Ice Centre.

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The hosts also bring plenty of momentum having captured the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s playoff banner with a 2-0 victory over Tri-Cities on Friday night. The result capped a perfect seven-game post-season run that saw the Ravens outscore their opponents 28-2 in the process.

A qualifying series sweep (6-0, 6-1) of Abbotsford was followed by two earlier wins over Tri-Cities (6-0, 3-0) and a pair against Surrey as well (2-1 and 3-0).

Richmond was also crowned PCAHA regular season champions with a 14-1-1 record.

The provincials will see the teams divided into a pair of round-robin groups with the top two finishers crossing over to play semi-final games on March 22. The bronze and gold medal games will be played later that day.

The Ravens will face Williams Lake, Capital Region and North East in preliminary play. It’s the latter team from Fort St. John they have yet to see this season.

“I think that’s a good thing for us,” said longtime coach AJ Sander. “With no past history, the girls can only focus on their game.”

The Ravens defeated Williams Lake on their way to winning their own Rep Classic back October and also played a handful of games last fall against the Victoria-based Capital Region team.

“The girls aren’t looking past everyone. That was the third time they have played Tri-Cities in the last two weeks but they continue to work hard and stick to our game plan. I couldn’t ask for any more from them.”

The playoff banner was the Ravens’ eighth in their rich history since the team was launched under Sander 13 years ago. They have also appeared in the final 11 times.

Here is the Ravens’ provincial schedule with all games being played on the Richmond Ice Centre’s Forum Rink.

March 19

6:45 p.m. North East

March 20

6:15 p.m. Williams Lake

March 21

6:15 p.m. Capital Region

March 22

8 a.m. Semi-final #1

11 a.m. Semi-final #2

5 p.m. Bronze Medal Game

8 p.m. Gold Medal Game

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