For the first time, all three ball hockey teams representing B.C. at the national championships advanced to the finals in the same year.
B.C., featuring numerous players from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, earned silver in the under-15 and u-19 age divisions, and won gold in u-17.
The B.C. Thunder allowed only one goal against en route to winning the u-17 division, including a 2-0 win over the Edmonton Xtreme in the final. The Thunder featured three players from the Ridge Meadows Minor Ball Hockey Association: Marc Gautreau, Adam Jones and Wesley Stone.
The B.C. West Coast Wolverines went 4-0 in u-15 round-robin and semi-final play. The Wolverines, the defending national champions, however, fell 2-0 to the Edmonton Xtreme, the second goal into an empty net, in the final.
Jon Silcox from Maple Ridge was head coach of the B.C. team, which featured local players Keegan Prophet, Eddie Riddell, Mitch Shelton, Brendan Chabot, Brandon McRobert and Tyler Slavin.
For Silcox, it was his fourth time at the nationals, first as head coach. McRobert lead the team with five points in the preliminary round. Slavin, a defenseman at his third nationals, was named MVP in the final game.
In the u-19 division, the The West Coast Express went 4-0-1 in the preliminary round, with 24 goals for in those games. However, the B.C. team fell 2-1 in the final to Manitoba. Local players on the u-19 team included Jarek Olah, Dean Mattson, Chase Pederson and Dylan Grier.
Gary Slavin, Team B.C. national director, was proud of the performances from all three teams.
“To see our three teams in the preliminary rounds go a combined 10 wins, one tie and no losses, with a total of 54 goals and only 12 goals against, shows the preparation all three teams committed to before traveling to Edmonton for the nationals,” he said.
“From the invite tryouts back in April, the time put in from scouts and team coaching staffs, along with great team managers, this truly was the best year for the Team B.C. program at the nationals.”