They didn’t get the ultimate result they were looking for at the Pat Quinn Classic but the Greater Vancouver Canadians Major Bantam team certainly takes some momentum into the second half of the season.
The Canadians concluded the annual tournament in Burnaby with a 2-2-1 record after seeing their championship hopes dashed in a 3-2 in a shootout by league rival Valley West Giants in the playoffs. However, it was their opening round-robin game that will be remembered most.
That’s when Greater Vancouver squared off against Burnaby Winter Club’s Bantam Prep team in one of the first-ever match-ups between a top academy program and a frontrunner from B.C. Hockey’s new zone league.
The Canadians more then held their own with the hosts needing a late goal to salvage a 4-4- tie.
Will Sharpe had given his team a 4-3 lead before BWC answered just over two minutes later. Grady Lenton, Jamie Hikida and JJ Milne had the other goals. Lenton also chipped in with two assists.
BWC cruised to the tournament title the rest of the way — rolling to five straight victories and outscoring their opponents 39-5 in the process.
The Canadians then trimmed the Junior Coyotes from Arizona 2-1 thanks to third period goals from Lenton and Dylan Nazareth with the winner.
The second game of the day was a 5-3 loss to the Cariboo Cougars.
The playoff defeat saw the Giants score late to force overtime after goals from Lenton and Ryan Nimi had given GVC a 2-1 third period lead.
The Canadians closed out the tourney with a 4-1 win over Fort Saskatchewan, led by a pair of goals from Milne.
There will be more academy opponents on the horizon when the Canadians travel to St. Albert later this month for the prestigious John Reid Memorial Tournament. Delta Hockey Academy’s Bantam Green team is the defending champion.
In the meantime, they will get to see the Giants again next weekend when Major Bantam regular season action resumes. The teams are at the Richmond Olympic Oval on Saturday and the Langley Events Centre Sunday.