North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s Juvenile AAA Storm earned their third consecutive provincial crown at the BC Hockey championships hosted by the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association March 22-25.
Storm coach Cole Blight said the team, which has played cohesively together for three years, went 12-0 in elimination games in the playoffs and provincials. Starting goalie James Peakman earned an impressive 23-1-3 record in the playoffs over those three years.
This year’s gold medal game was a “classic,” said Blight, explaining it ended 1-1 after three periods and needed overtime to decide a winner.
“We had hit four posts and had multiple chances all game to take the lead but we couldn’t buy a goal,” recalled Blight.
With less than four minutes left in the first overtime period, on the power play, defenceman Clint Colebourn wired a slapshot low, blocker-side, to lift the Storm to the gold medal and the triple banner.
Looking back on the season, Blight said players like Tak Anholt, Bradley Crompton, Alex Pistilli and Austin McQuay carried a lot of the offensive load.
“Our depth showed up in provincials when bottom six forward Hayden Davis tied with Harry Tadey for the team lead in goals with five during the tournament,” said Blight.
He also praised penalty killers Ryan Fisher, Brent Murray, Tyler Gagnon and Noah Smyth, along with Xavier Poulin-Norris, who Blight called a workhorse.
The D-core of Ross Ledding, Robbie Morgan, Clint Colebourn, Curtis Bowdering and Cameron Ballingal were all remarkable on the back-end, according to Blight.
Team MVP went to Brian Hill, the Storm’s backup goalie, who Blight said played a remarkable game against Richmond in the tournament after a two-month absence from game action. Meanwhile, Dan Cioffi helped out the Storm out with “invaluable advice and guidance.”
The future of Blight, Sam Mok and John Dickie as Storm coaches is uncertain, but for now they are celebrating.
“If this was the last time for us together it was a spectacular way to end things. Three championships in three years for three former players is something we all are very proud of,” said Blight.
as printed in North Shore News
Maria Spitale-Leisk / North Shore News
APRIL 3, 2018 02:58 PM