The Richmond Bantam A2 Jets carry the host association’s hopes into the final day of action at the 38th annual Richmond International Bantam Midget Hockey Tournament.
The Jets will square off against the Portland Junior Winterhawks in the Bantam Tier 2 championship game this morning at the Richmond Ice Centre. It’s a rematch of round-robin play from Saturday which saw the teams battle to a 1-1 draw.
Richmond’s stellar defensive play continued on into Sunday’s playoffs — producing a 2-0 quarter-final triumph over Cowichan Valley. Veer Sadana scored 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. The Jets then got past Surrey A1 Thunder in the semis.
The Jets earlier went unbeaten in round-robin play (2-0-2) to secure a final four berth in the 14-team division.
Other division finals today include an all-American gold medal game at the Midget Tier One level this afternoon between Portland Junior A1 Winterhawks and Seattle U16 Sno Kings, slated for 2 p.m. at Minoru Arenas.
The Sno Kings continued their perfect run with a win over Burnaby Minor while Portland handed Alaska U18 AA Wolves their first loss of the tournament.
The A1 Jets’ title hopes ended with a heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss in quarter-final play on Sunday morning. 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.
The Jets had earlier gone 3-1-0 in round-robin action to finish second in their pool group to the Alaska Wolves.
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.
The A2 Jets are not the only Richmond Bantam rep team gold medal hunting today. The A1 Jets will take an unbeaten record into their semi-final game this morning against West Van Academy in the Bantam AAA Division at the Pat Quinn Classic in Burnaby.
Richmond went 4-0-0 in round-robin play then defeated Nanaimo 5-2 in the quarter-finals yesterday of the 16-team event. The final is slated for 1:45 p.m.