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Burnaby Winter Club Wins Bantam AAA Westerns

By Neil Hilts on April 04, 2017

The Burnaby Winter Club Bruins claimed their second consecutive Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship with a commanding 9-2 win over Saskatchewan Valley. (Courtesy of the BWC)

For the second year in a row, the Burnaby Winter Club has claimed the Western Canada Bantam AAA Championship crown.

It was a dominating weekend for the Bruins, who went 5-0 and smoked the host Saskatchewan Valley Vipers 9-2.

Kyler Kovich had a hat trick and five points, Kalen Szeto also added five points and four assists. Trevor Wong had four helpers and Ryan Helliwell also brought the hats onto the ice. Koen MacInnes made 24 saves, compared to the Vipers’ tandem of Matt Hennessey and Brodie Guenther who allowed five and four goals respectively.

Through four games of round robin play, BWC sat undefeated with three wins with a two or more goal margin, then slipped by the Swift Current Kabos Broncos 3-2 in the first game of Saturday.

Saskatchewan Valley sat 1-1-1 before the final game of round robin and had to play their Saskatchewan counterparts from Swift Current. Winning 5-1, the Vipers just snuck past the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers who finished 2-2.

It was a rough tournament for Swift Current, who were winless throughout the weekend. The Winnipeg Monarchs went 1-2-1 and earned a date in the bronze medal game with Fort Saskatchewan.

Despite the name confusion, the Rangers came from Alberta and managed to leave with some hardware. Alex Thacker’s four points and Noah Boyko’s three led Fort Saskatchewan as they defeated Winnipeg 6-3.

The Bantam Westerns consisted of five teams, one from each of the four western provinces, along with the host. The Burnaby Winter Club were the B.C. champs, Fort Saskatchewan won Alberta, Winnipeg Monarchs claimed Manitoba, and Swift Current won their region.

Szeto led the tournament in scoring with five goals and 15 points in five games, while Kovich had 13 points.

The Vipers’ Josh Pillar was the tournament MVP as he tied for second in goals, with six, and fifth in points, with nine – three ahead of his closest teammate. Mac Gross of Swift Current was named most sportsmanlike and Burnaby swept the other four awards: MacInnes won top goalie, Helliwell was named the top defenceman, Kovich was the top forward and Szeto was the top scorer.

This was a huge opportunity for players to boost their stock ahead of the upcoming WHL Bantam Draft in May and the top scorers like Szeto, Kovich and Boyko did just that.

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By Neil Hilts| April 04, 2017
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  AB Minor Hockey

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