The Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association had a rewarding weekend on and off the ice, playing host to a pair of successful tournaments in Sechelt and Gibsons.
In the Atom A tournament final Monday afternoon at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre, the Sunshine Coast Blues took gold with a 5-1 win over Seafair.
The Blues finished first in the five-team round robin with a 4-0 record.
Seafair, the North Vancouver Storm and Whitehorse Mustangs all finished the round robin with identical 2-2 records, but were seeded two through four respectively based on goals for and against. West Vancouver Thunder finished fifth in the round robin with a 0-4 record.
Whitehorse won the bronze medal with a 3-2 win over the Storm on Monday morning.
In the Peewee A tournament final on Monday at the Sunshine Coast Arena in Sechelt, Semiahmoo won gold with a 3-1 win over the Blues.
Whitehorse won the bronze medal with a 2-1 win over the North Shore Avalanche.
The Peewee tournament consisted of six teams in two three-team pools.
Whitehorse won pool A with a record of 1-0-2, the Blues were second at 0-1-2 and the North Vancouver Storm were 0-3.
Semiahmoo won pool B with a 2-0-1 record, the West Vancouver Thunder were second with a 1-0-2 record and the Avalanche were third with a 1-1-1 record.
The playoffs opened with the Blues beating Whitehorse 2-0 on Sunday night and Semiahmoo beating West Van 7-1.
In addition to the bronze medal game on Monday, Whitehorse played in the consolation game, beating the Storm 6-3.
“It was a good weekend. Pretty well all the games were very close and competitive and it was nice to see our teams perform so well too,” said Brenda Rowe from the SCMHA. “We had a scheduling conflict with West Vancouver as they had to start their playoffs on Monday, so they had to drop out of the tournament. That allowed the North Shore Avalanche to play for the bronze medal, and they had a great game with Whitehorse. Whitehorse was also gracious enough to stick around and play another game against North Vancouver.”
Whitehorse brought close to 60 people to the Sunshine Coast for the weekend.
Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association president and coach Carl Burgess said they had a fantastic time and the reception they received from the community was first class.
“We actually dress five to eight travelling teams per year and we have an active managing group that is always looking for tournaments,” Burgess said. “Our competitive teams have a challenge where there is not a lot of competition for them, so we are always travelling. The Sechelt area has long been one that our teams have visited and we have met Sechelt at other tournaments, so when this tournament came open, both our Atom and Peewee teams jumped on it.
“The tournament has been fantastic. Not all tournaments end up this good where both our teams have played well. The officiating has been extremely consistent and has been fantastic. The competition has been stiff and the community has been very welcoming to all of us. It’s been a great trip and the small town, West Coast hospitality has lived up for sure.”
Burgess hopes that other teams from the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland will look at Whitehorse next year as a tournament destination.
“We’d love to return the hospitality,” he said. “We have almost 430 players in our association in the community of 26,000 people. We have some fantastic deals through our airline and offer people a fantastic northern experience. We have some great summer hockey games as well, so year-round we have a lot going on. We’d love to see more teams come up and it certainly helps us get some competition too.”