The 2016-2017 Major Midget League (MML) regular season is in the books, and the playoff matchups have been determined. The Cariboo Cougars, Fraser Valley Thunderbirds, Greater Vancouver Canadians, Kootenay Ice, Okanagan Rockets, Vancouver North East Chiefs and Vancouver North West Giants 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 Cariboo Cougars (34-5-1-0) vs. #8 Kootenay Ice (18-21-0-1)
Game 1: March 10, Time: 3:30 pm, Kinsman Arena 1, Prince George
Game 2: March 11, Time: 2:30 pm, Kinsman Arena 1, Prince George
Game 3: March 12, Time: 10:15 am, Kinsman Arena 1, Prince George*
The Cougars had the best goals for record in the league, notching 214 goals in 40 games – an average of 5.35 goals per game. Daine Dubois (Williams Lake) led the Cougars offensively with 67 points (27G, 40A) in 40 games, he was tied for the league title in scoring. The Cougars were back-stopped by the tandem of Marcus Allen (Prince George) and Zack Wickson (Prince George) helping Cariboo to a league best 75 goals against on the season. Wickson had the lowest goals against average in the league at 1.70.
The Kootenay Ice will be in the MML playoffs for the first time in the club’s history after a four (4) game win streak to complete the 2016-2017 regular season. Offensively the team was led by Christian Macasso (Montrose) (39 points) and Aiden Jenner (Castlegar) (38 points) ,who were both over a point per game pace for the Ice who will make the long trek to Prince George for this first-round battle.
#2 Vancouver NE Chiefs (32-5-0-3) vs. #7 Valley West Hawks (20-15-1-4)
Game 1: March 10, Time: 8:00 pm, Planet Ice 1, Coquitlam
Game 2: March 11, Time: 7:30 pm, Planet Ice 1, Coquitlam
Game 3: March 12, Time: 11:00 am, Planet Ice 1, Coquitlam *
The Vancouver North East Chiefs set a franchise record for 67 points in a season, finishing second in league standings, only two (2) points behind the Cariboo Cougars. The Chiefs had a dynamic offensive attack scoring 211 goals and led by Ethan Leyh (Port Moody) who was fifth in league scoring (58) and second in both goals (30) and points per game (1.79). Goaltender Kolby Matthews (Coquitlam) posted a league-best 21 wins on the season
Last year’s MML champions, the Valley West Hawks, look for redemption after a pair of losses to end the regular season against the Chiefs. The Hawks had balanced scoring with five (5) players registering 10 or more goals on the season with Tyler Ho (Surrey) leading the way with 49 points (19G, 30A) in 39 games.
#3 Okanagan Rockets (27-10-0-3) vs. #6 Vancouver North West Giants (20-15-4-1)
Game 1: March 10, Time: 6:30 pm, Capital News Centre, Kelowna
Game 2: March 11, Time: 3:00 pm, Capital News Centre, Kelowna
Game 3: March 12, Time: 9:45 am, Capital News Centre, Kelowna*
The Okanagan Rockets will look to bounce back after dropping their last two (2) regular season games against the Cariboo Cougars. They will face a Giants team that they last met in the playoffs in the league final. The Rockets had three (3) players, Coleton Bilodeau (Coldstream) (58 points), Max Kryski (Kelowna) (53 points), and Rayman Bassi (Kelowna) (49 points), in the top 10 in league scoring.
The Giants ended the regular season with a pair of wins and will look to continue that success as they travel to Kelowna for the first-round matchup against Okanagan. The Giants were led by league-leading scorer, Liam Kindree (North Vancouver), who had an impressive 67 points (28G, 39A) in 40 games.
#4 Greater Vancouver Canadians (22-13-3-2) vs. #5 Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (21-15-3-1)
Game 1: March 11, Time: 12:00 pm, Richmond Oval
Game 2: March 12, Time: 5:00 pm, Richmond Oval
Game 3: March 13, Time: 5:00 pm, Richmond Oval *
The Greater Vancouver Canadians and Fraser Valley Thunderbirds are separated by only three (3) points and will meet in a first-round matchup that gets underway on Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Richmond. The Canadians are led by two (2) of the league’s top four (4) scorers in Scott Atkinson (Vancouver) 66 points in 36 games and Sasha Mutala (Vancouver), 63 points in 39 games.
The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds finished in fifth place in league standings, the same position they finished last year. They were only one (1) of three (3) teams to hold opponents under 100 goals against this season.
The four (4) winning teams will move on to the semifinals, taking place March 17 - 19, 2017. The MML Championship series will take place March 24 – 26, 2017. The MML champion will take on the champion of the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League (AMHL) from March 31-April 2, 2017 in the Pacific Midget Regionals for the right to represent the Pacific region at the 2017 TELUS Cup where six (6) teams, including the host team, Cariboo Cougars will welcome the nation’s best Midget teams from April 24-30, 2017 at the CN Centre.
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 MML, please visit the League website at www.bcmml.net, follow along on social media at twitter.com/bchockey_mml, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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