By / Mark Janzen
When the final horn sounded and the Burnaby Winter Club Atom A2 team was up 3-1 over the North Shore Winter Club A1 side, it was time for a mini celebration.
Sure it was just one game in the PCAHA regular season and, at the end of the day, just two points in the standings, but it was still something special.
A victory over the Bruins’ biggest rival is always cause for added emotion but when you’re the A2 side from BWC and you’ve just beat a Garry Valk-coached A1 squad from the North Shore, that’s a good day.
And it just so happened the A2 boys from BWC did it all without their head coach, Paul Pipke, who was suffering from a bad case of the flu.
Fortunately, BWC Peewee A1 coach Brad Reynolds happened to be at the Burnaby rink prior to the game and, in an emergency move, was able to fill in behind the bench. But as Reynolds made it abundantly clear after the game, his presence had little to do with the outcome. This was just a bunch of kids who put together a gutsy effort.
“It was the kids,” Reynolds said. “They worked hard and they just went out and played under Paul’s system and just played very well.”
Coming off convincing wins over the Vancouver Thunderbirds A1 and North Vancouver A1, the Bruins got off to a quick start in the opening period and were rewarded with a hard working goal off the stick of Damiano Pecile. A perfect pass from Ty Schweitzer set it up and Pecile banged it home to give the BWC a 1-0 edge after 20 minutes.
However, the NSWC – a team that dropped to 3-3-0 on the year after the setback in Burnaby – rallied to knot the score 1-1 early in the second period.
A battle ensued.
But late in a hard-fought middle stanza, BWC’s Caeden Bankier restored the Bruins one-goal margin when he tallied with just 15 seconds left on a highlight-reel goal that saw him find twine while being hauled down from behind.
That goal set up for an action-packed third period that saw both the NSWC goalie and BWC netminder Mason Dunsford stand on their heads. But with five minutes left in the third, the Bruins finally got the insurance marker that allowed them to breathe a little easier.
Having just killed a two-minute penalty – thanks in large part to the defence pairing of Brendan Pentecost and Grady Wilson – Pecile potted his second goal of the night on a brilliant one-on-one move out of the corner that gave the Bruins a two-goal cushion they would take to the buzzer.
“It’s pretty neat for them to be able to do it and have that success in that level of a game,” Reynolds said. “I would was very proud to see them do it. To beat a team of that caliber is a true testament to the coaching of Paul and the dedication these BWC kids are prepared to make in their young hockey careers.”
Through six games, the Bruins are now 4-2-0 and have put themselves into a position to compete with the best in the division.
And while the celebration won’t last long – the schedule has the Bruins playing five more games before the Christmas break, including one more against the NSWC A1, one against BWC A1 and two against division-leading Seafair A1 – their confidence after a win like this certainly will.Back to Top