The Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association’s Midget A1 Blues travelled to the Kootenays after the new year to Rossland to play in the Greater Trail Minor Hockey Midget A Tournament.
The tournament saw them play teams from the Kootenay region, including the Okanagan, Washington State and Idaho.
In round robin play the Blues beat Summerland 9-2, Spokane 6-0, and then the hometown Trail Smokies, their toughest competitor this season. In this game the Blues dug deep and came back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3, handing Trail its first loss of the season and finishing first in their pool.
Blues met Cranbrook in the semi-final with a small bench due to injuries from the hard battle against Trail. The game was delayed after the Blues’ starting goaltender sustained a neck injury and was taken off the ice on a stretcher. It was an emotional challenge for the players once the game started again, but they persevered and won 10-6.
After the great news that their goalie was cleared by doctors, the Blues had an hour to recover and get ready to play a big and tough team from Castlegar in the finals. This game was a tough start for the exhausted Blues and saw them fall behind 4-1 at the midway ice clean. Once again the veteran leadership of captain Tyson Chidgey and goalie Liam Allen helped them dig deep and claw their way back into the game. With under two minutes to go, the Blues were down 6-5. Unfortunately they were unable to complete the comeback and lost 8-5 after an empty net goal with one minute remaining.
The Blues worked extremely hard and played a strong team game all weekend through some tough physical, and emotional situations to bring home the silver medal through a snowstorm.