Ball hockey teams from across the country descended on Burnaby and Coquitlam for the 2019 Junior Nationals that included many players from Maple Ridge.
Quebec was the only province not represented in the tournament that saw 34 teams compete for national titles.
As host of the event, B.C. was allowed to have two teams in each division, considerably more than when they travel to other provinces for the tournament.
“So we went from three teams that we usually send up to eight this year,” said Gary Slavin, Team B.C. national director.
Slavin was pleased with how the B.C. teams did in the tournament.
“Especially winning two golds,” said Slavin referring to the pool A U15 and U17 teams who won their divisions.
“It was probably one of the best events I’ve seen as far as competitiveness. It was very fast paced and very close games. There wasn’t a lot of blowout games,” said Slavin.
He said B.C. has always been one of the top three or four teams that have advanced up into the A-side, or the top part of the tournament.
“This is the first year where we won two golds at the same event,” Slavin said.
In pool A, the U15 Team B.C. Wolverines beat Team Newfoundland, in overtime, to win the championship by a score of 1-0. Ridge players included Justin Osborne, who scored two goals in the tournament, Mason Louie who previously played for Team Canada, and Nayan Gurm.
Team B.C. U17 Thunder, pool A, beat New Tec Ontario 3-1 to also win gold. Ridge players included: goaltender Evan Jonsen; defence, Tyler Slavin, Mitch Shelton and Edward Riddel; forwards, Brendan Chabot, Vincent Timperio, Cole Moffat, Griffin Mahaffey and David Stepputat.
Chabot, who got four goals and two assists during the tournament, was awarded All-Star Forward.
The pool A U19 Team B.C. Express took silver against New Tec Ontario, losing by a score of 3-1.
Ridge goaltender Matteo Petrelli received MVP goaltender for the tournament with a 2.00 GAA.
Other Ridge representation included: head coach Dave Weloy; defense Rhys Caverly and Marcus Kot; and forwards, Jamie Dimitrijevic and Damian Richards.
In the B pool both the U17 Team B.C. Storm with Ridge assistant coach Rich Lovett, forward Rowan Zapisocki and defense Lucas Mattson and Caleb Douglas, and the U19 Team B.C. Blazers won bronze with goaltender Joshua Douglas and Keegan Prophet and Jake Vorlicek on defense.
The U15 Team B.C. Bobcats came eighth in their division.
The top team in the girls division, the pool A U19 Express, won a bronze medal at the tournament with Ridge forward Aurora Kahlert, and the pool B U19 Wolverines also took home the bronze with Ridge forward Hannah Stark and assistant coach Jenn Watt.
The Junior Nationals have been taking place since 2004.
The worlds take place next year in Slovakia and Switzerland.
Scouts who were at this tournament will make selections for team Canada.
Players who make the team will be notified within the next three weeks.