The 2015-2016 Major Midget League (MML) regular season is in the books, and the playoff matchups have been determined. The Valley West Hawks, Cariboo Cougars, Vancouver North West Giants, Okanagan Rockets, Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, Vancouver North East Chiefs, South Island Royals, and Greater Vancouver Canadians will all embark on a journey to the MML Championship, where they could win the Cromie Memorial Trophy and a trip to the Pacific Midget Regionals.
#1 Valley West Hawks (33-6-1) vs. #8 Greater Vancouver Canadians (14-20-6)
Game 1: TBD
Game 2: TBD
Game 3: TBD*
The Hawks had the best “Goals For” record in the league, notching 210 goals in 40 games – an average of 5.25 goals per game. With the veteran presence of forwards Ben Evanish and James Malm, the Hawks finished at the top of the league standings thanks to a dynamic offense. Evanish finished the regular season as the league’s leading scorer, tallying 70 points (41G, 29A) in 38 games. Malm, who returned from the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants midway through the season, has amassed 43 points (14G, 29A) in just 18 games. The Hawks have several other forwards who have proven themselves to be adept at finding the back of the net, with Christian Bosa (30G, 26A), Ilijah Colina (10G, 42A), Michael Farren (15G, 34A), and Luka Burzan (16G, 31A) all in the Top 10 for League scoring. have a solid goaltending duo of Nicholas Tallarico and Reece Klassen guiding them in the playoffs
On the other hand, the Canadians have had some trouble finding their offense this season, with leading scorer Tyson Lin (15G, 17A) and Eric Bourhill (18G, 11A) leading the pack of forwards. Goaltender Matteo Paler-Chow played 25 games in net for the Canadians, compiling an 8-11-3 record with a 3.39 goals against average (GAA).
#2 Cariboo Cougars (29-8-3) vs. #7 South Island Royals (15-18-7)
Game 1: March 4, 3:30PM, Kin 1
Game 2: March 5, 3:45PM, Kin 1
Game 3: March 6, 10:00AM, Kin 1*
The Cariboo Cougars and Valley West Hawks were neck-and-neck at the top of the standings for most of the season, with Cariboo eventually placing second on the strength of a 29-8-3 record. Aaron Jakubowski (15-2-0, 2.52 GAA) and Dorrin Luding (10-5-1, 2.42 GAA) backstopped the Cougars, while Josh Maser (20G, 17A), Chase Dubois (14G, 20A), and Riley Coish (17G, 12A) led the offensive rush. The Cougars also had some solid offensive presence from their defence corps, with Jeremy Gervais (12G, 24A) and Chris Jandric (5G, 29A) both placing in the Top 5 for scoring among defencemen.
The Royals had Austin Roden (8-10-5, 3.56 GAA) and Zakery Myrowich (7-7-3, 2.86 GAA) in net this season, with forwards Jordan Guiney (13G, 26A), Lach Hadley (17G, 14A) and defenseman Jake Wilhelm (8G, 16A) leading the team.
#3 Vancouver North West Giants (27-9-4) vs. #6 Vancouver North East Chiefs (17-15-8)
Game 1: March 4, 1:00PM, North Shore Winter Club
Game 2: March 5, 3:30PM, North Shore Winter Club
Game 3: March 6, 10:45AM, North Shore Winter Club*
The Giants had a strong showing this season, with forwards Josh Latta (19G, 46A) and Justin Wilson (28G, 36A) placing third and fourth in League scoring respectively, along with the League’s top-scoring defenseman Carter Stephenson (6G, 40A). Backstopped by Beck Warm (13-3-2, 1.89 GAA) and David Tendeck (12-6-2, 2.10 GAA), the Giants claimed third place with a 27-9-4 record during the regular season.
The Chiefs, last season’s MML Champions, had Andrew Henderson (10-7-3, 2.78 GAA) and Kolby Matthews (7-8-5, 3.00 GAA) in net for their sixth-place 17-15-8 season. On offense, Harris Pearce led the way with 42 points (15G, 27A), while Chong Min Lee tallied 41 points (14G, 27A).
#4 Okanagan Rockets (23-12-5) vs. #5 Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (17-14-9)
Game 1: March 4, 7:00PM, Prospera Place
Game 2: March 5, 5:15PM, Capital News Centre
Game 3: March 6, 12:00PM, Prospera Place*
The Rockets have been led by the solid goaltending of Cole Demers, who has played 30 games and compiled an 18-8-4 record, with a 1.94 goals against average (GAA). Eli Zummack finished fifth in the League in scoring with 52 points (14G, 38A), while Alec Zawatsky finished second on the team with a total of 33 points (18G, 15A).
The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds picked up their pace in the second half of the season, climbing the standings to finish in fifth place with a 17-14-9 record. Mackenzie Wight led the team in scoring with 42 points (23G, 19A), while Johnathan Stein (12G, 24A) and Baxter Anderson (11G, 19A) also contributed to the offense.
The four (4) winning teams will move on to the semifinals, taking place March 11 - 13, 2016. The MML Championship series will take place March 18 – 20, 2016. The MML champion will take on the champion of the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League (AMHL) from April 1 – 3, 2016 in the Pacific Midget Regionals for the right to represent the Pacific region at the 2016 TELUS Cup, taking place April 19 – 24, 2016 in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.
The MML was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15, 16 and 17 year olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey. These teams have an opportunity each year to compete for the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship. For more information about the BC Hockey Major Midget League, please visit the League website at www.bcmml.net
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