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Inaugural Pat Quinn Classic minor tourney crowns three champs

By Neil Hilts on December 31, 2015


The Kelowna Rockets celebrate their Bantam AAA Championship of dumping Seafair Islanders 3-1 in the final. (Twitter photo)

BURNABY, British Columbia —  Even an earthquake off the coast of Vancouver the night before championship day wasn’t enough to shake the top teams in the Pat Quinn Classic.

Champions were crowned in all three divisions with the Kelowna Rockets (Bantam AAA), Chicago Mission (Bantam AAA Elite) and the Burnaby Winter Club (PeeWee AAA Elite) all taking home a little hardware in the long-running but newly re-dedicated event.

Bantam AAA
Coming into the Bantam AAA knockout stage, the Seafair Islanders were the eighth seed and had to face the undefeated Delta Wild. A huge 2-1 win, powered by a big goaltending performance from Matthew Swells propelled Seafair against the next team without a loss: Seattle. Seafair stayed the course to win 5-3 and landed in the Bantam AA finals against Kelowna, who also had a remarkable run to the championship.

As the fifth seed despite a 3-1 record in round robin, they had to knock-off the Burnaby Winter Club 7-4, then the third-place Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 6-3. Blaine Worthing’s six points in two games was the standout performance needed for Kelowna. Burnaby and Phoenix both went 3-1 and were seeded ahead of Kelowna due to tiebreakers.

Kelowna rode the momentum from two tough wins and came out firing against Seafair. They lead 2-0 going into the third when Seafair scored to draw within one. Will Reimer’s second goal of the game was the final nail in the coffin as Kelowna won the Bantam AAA Championship 3-1.

Burnaby Winter Club’s Justin Scott, Delta’s Justin Sourdiff and Kelowna’s Kaden Meszaros finished tied for first in scoring with 14 points. Sourdiff lead in goals with 10 (tied with Kelowna’s Worthing) and Mezaros’ 11 assists were tops.

Bantam AAA Elite
In the quarters, local team Burnaby Winter Club saw their tournament end early despite entering playoffs undefeated as they fell 2-1 to the LA Jr. Kings. BWC had only allowed four goals through three round robin games, but the offense sputtered and couldn’t solve the Kings’ goaltender.

Lethbridge and the Delta Wild both won 4-1 over Yale and Notre Dame, respectively in the first round. Delta then continued their strong play, winning 3-0 over LA in the semis enroute to the finals. Lethbridge couldn’t keep up with undefeated Chicago, paving way for the Mission to reach the finals.

Like their NHL city counterparts, the Chicago Mission streaked through the tournament, going undefeated leading to the finals where they faced the also unbeaten Delta Wild Elite.

Chicago stunned Delta in the first period of the final game, going up 4-0 early, which led to Delta pulling their goalie Boston Bilous and replacing him with Roman Basran. Even though Delta scored three of the last four goals, the first period deficit was too substantial to overcome and Chicago was crowned the Bantam AAA Elite champs in a 5-3 win.

Chicago’s Owen Lindmark and Luke Toporowski, along with Lethbridge’s Ridly Greig led the Bantam AAA Elite Division in scoring with 13 points. Toporowski’s eight goals were tops as well.

Peewee AAA Elite
In the opening round of playoffs, there were largely one-sided scores in all four matchups. Burnaby won 4-1 over Juan de Fuca, Japan trounced Langley 7-1, Seafair dusted Cowichan 9-3, and Kamloops dominated North Shore to the tune of 7-1.

In the semis, Burnaby Winter Club kept the PeeWee Division’s leading scorer, Japan’s Ito Aguchi, and his teammates scoreless with a commanding 8-0 win. On the other side, Seafair’s perfect run came to an end at the hand of Kamloops in a 3-2 game.

The finals pitted host team Burnaby against Kamloops and the high-scoring trend stopped. Burnaby had a goal from Trevor Wong in the first and Adam Grenier in third to lead 2-0. Kamloops broke the shutout with five minutes left thanks to Tyson Galloway’s goal, but they couldn’t sneak another past Mason Dunsford.

Iguchi’s 15 goals and 23 points were tops and showcased why he’s an international prodigy. Right on his tail was teammate and linemate Yusaku Ando who had 13 goals and 22 points. Kamloops’ Logan Stankoven had 10 goals and 17 points, good for third.

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By Neil Hilts| December 31, 2015
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  B.C. Minor Hockey

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