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Ridge Meadows Rustlers U18 wins league championship

Team appears poised to return to provincial tournament
The Ridge Meadows Rustlers U18 team has won the U18 Teir 1, Flight 1 league banner. (Special to The News)

The Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association’s Under-18 A1 team appears poised for another run at a provincial championship.

The team, formerly known as Midget A1, won their final regular season game last week, taking first place in Flight 1, and winning the U18 A Tier 1 League banner.

This team has been coached by Mike Legg, who is famous for having scored The Michigan – a lacrosse-style goal where Legg went behind the opposing net, picked up the puck with his stick, and flung it into the top of the net. He scored the goal while playing for the University of Michigan in 1996 NCAA tournament.

Legg’s U-18 team has also found numerous ways to score, with a league-high 85 goals in 20 games, while allowing just 41 goals against. That propelled them to a first-place record of 14-4-2 on the regular season.

Jordan Emmerson, general manager of the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association, explained that last year Legg guided the U-18 A1 squad to a win in the Final Four playoffs, then into the provincial tournament, and this league win was the first step in returning again this year.

“He creates a winning culture, and lets the kids grow in their own skin and abilities,” said Emmerson.

“We’re excited for the team, and we’re proud of the coaches.”

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He said they have a great team spirit, and they have been seen raising money for local causes this season.

“They’re a great group of kids,” he said.

They will need to win one four-point series, and then would be in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association final four. The top two teams from that tourney will advance to the provincials in Salmon Arm in March.

In March of 2022 they just missed advancing to the provincial semi-finals, getting beaten on goal differential.

“So they’ve got some unfinished business,” said Emmerson.

They have been on a roll down the stretch, unbeaten through their last six games, and with eight wins, a loss and a tie in their last 10.

They will play in the Jim Lindsay Memorial Tournament in their home rink Feb. 17-20. It features top-level U18, U15 and U13 teams.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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