The Ridge Meadows atom A3 team, in its inaugural development year, won the President’s banner in Tier 4, defeating the Port Moody Panthers 9-3 in Tuesday’s final.
“The players came out charging from the first whistle and never relented,” said Rustlers head coach Ron Murphy.
“They believed in each other.”
Trevor Ebbutt scored three times for the Rustlers, while Jackson Chmiliar tallied twice. Kenny Conroy, Connor Williamson, Sean Butler and Cam Gjaltema also scored. Kyle Mair had a pair of assists. Luke Budisa, Gjaltema and Williamson each had one.
Jorrin Lenton earned the win in net, while Ryan Murphy, Braeden Hallman, Jake Shwarok, Cole Treleaven, Cody Zachow and Conroy provided strong defensive structure, limiting shots on net.
After falling in the first round of the playoffs to Whatcom in three games, the Rustlers earned nine of a possible 12 points in the President’s series. They downed Abbotsford 6-0 and Port Moody 3-2 in the other games, getting steady goaltending from Nathan Lusher and Kevin Picard, and admirable efforts from Dylan Kong, Asher Braski and Jake Sherdian.
Murphy is proud of how far his players have come this season, from struggling to win a game early on to winning a banner.
“The players bonded as friends, which seemed to strengthen their passion for hockey and got them through any adversity they faced,” he said.
The Rustlers cap their season this weekend with a tournament in Victoria.