The Sunshine Coast peewee 'A' Blues had something extra in their post-Christmas stockings this year - a gold medal - after winning the seventh annual Canuck Place charity hockey tournament in Burnaby.
The Blues started with a 9-1 win over Burnaby.
Jackson Cole used his signature hands for an important assist in the first period. Highlights included a hat trick for Ethan Ellis Winters, and a beautiful stretch pass from Adam Goepel leading to a breakaway goal by Liam deRoon.
South Delta was ready for the Blues in game two.
The Blues' centres rose to the challenge, with Kolt Cousins driving along the boards and matching South Delta's physical game. The Blues had to up their pace to stay in the game, skating faster and harder. Goalie Geo Wilson shut the door and used his positioning and athleticism to make some key saves, and Kai Gerler scored two goals in the third period in the 2-1 final.
The third game was equally challenging against Aldergrove, another tier two team. Aldergrove had a number of AAA players and the Blues coaches did their best to match lines to stay in the game.
Austin Fournier and Grayson Bush really worked hard to intercept passes and bump players off the puck. Remaining defencemen Andrew Hunt, Noah Spain and Kai Gerler had to step up as Adam was out with a concussion sustained in game two, leaving the Blues with three on the backend.
Noah Spain used his physical, smart play to get the puck out of his end. Andrew Hunt scored a beauty from the top of the circles and assisted Kai on an important go-ahead goal in the third.
Kolt Cousins was a standout in the game, earning the respect of players twice his size. Treven Reid would not be intimidated as he skated in to dig pucks out from the boards. Aldergrove tied the game in the last six seconds, a fitting end to a great game.
The Blues' gritty team play in the round robin advanced them to the championship game against Vancouver.
The first period was scoreless with both goalies making some great saves.
In the second period, Ty Stinchcombe opened up the scoring with his magic hands to reenergize the team.
Into the third period, Vancouver was awarded a penalty shot, and the crowd was on its feet as Geo stood tall and robbed the shooter. The excitement wasn't over as Ty was pulled down on a breakaway and awarded the second penalty shot of the game. Using his signature move, he blasted down the ice, slammed on the brakes and scored along the ice for the 3-0 win.
© Coast Reporter