The 2015/16 season has been one of success and growth for the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association, with A and C division teams finding their way to league titles and playoff championship rounds, in addition to individual achievements.
“RMMHA invested towards its membership three seasons ago with the hiring of James Eccles as director of hockey development, and the executive on the board built a new direction,” said Blaine Hallman, vice-president of A hockey.
“Mr. Eccles and a very talented development team have delivered an elite program for all ages.”
Hallman said the future is particularly bright in the atom division, where the players have benefited from opportunities provided by a dedicated parental group, along with development strategies and concepts that the association values.
“The young athletes play a high octane brand of hockey in its truest form,” Hallman added.
And it showed on the ice.
The atom A2 team, coached by Andy Wingrove, won the Pacific Coast Tier 3 league banner and the Final Four playoff title.
The atom A1 team, coached by Bayne Ryshak, participated in Pacific Coast Tier 1 Final Four.
In peewee, the Ridge A4 team, coached by Josh Lowe, won the Pacific Coast North President Series banner.
In bantam, the Ridge A2 team, coached by Eric Arksey, won the Pacific Coast Flight 3 league banner, as well as the Tier 2 President Series title.
The A3 Rustlers, coached by Bruce Vasarhely, won the Pacific Coast President Series banner for Tier 3.
And the A4 team, coached by Ryan Douglas, made a Final Four appearance.
The midget A1 team, coached by Spence Levan, also made a Final Four appearance.
The Ridge juvenile A1 team, coached by Derek Ferguson, advanced to the Final Four and this weekend is hosting the provincial championship.
Individually at the A level, Kyle Henrikson, Colton Beard , Dylan Grier and Conner Liversidge participated in the recent midget A scholarship tournament based on strong academics, limited penalty minutes and high skill level.
Bantam A2 goalie Madison Fox participated in the B.C. Cup under-16 identification camp.
Midget A1 goalie Matt Trulsen scored a goal against Hollyburn in January at Cam Neely Arena.
At the Hockey 1-4 levels, cross-ice games were introduced in the second and third years with positive results.
“It was exciting for athletes and spectators, as the small area games allow all athletes to be engaged at all times, which is great for development,” said Derek Gullmes, president of C hockey.
The atom C division was also strong this season, with Ridge teams occupying eight of the top nine spots.
Ridge teams played one another in the top two playoff groups, with C7 and C6 winning banners.
“Lots of talent here,” Gullmes said.
In pee wee C, Ridge teams were represented in three of four championship games.
And in midget, Ridge C3 played for its group championship, while juvenile C2 won its group championship playoff banner.