Monday, November 2, 2015
British Columbia and Saskatchewan squared off for the bronze medal at the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, with BC claiming the win in a dominating fashion.
Both teams started off with lots of energy in an attempt to get the first goal of the game and it was BC who struck first as Brendan Budy took a nice pass from Jackson Shepard and buried it to give BC the 1-0 lead midway through the first period. The shots on goal were 11-9 in favour of BC after twenty minutes.
BC jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals from Matt Mosher and Medicine Hat Tigers prospect Ryan Chyzowski less than two minutes into the second period. Mosher skated down the right side, cut to the middle and fired a wrist shot by Saskatchewan goaltender Lance Alm to make the score 2-0 BC. Chyzowski scored just 43 seconds later to chase Alm from the Saskatchewan goal as Jake Davidson came in relief.
BC forward Keltie Jeri-Leon netted his third goal of the tournament to further increase BC’s lead to 4-0 and the offensive siege continued. Edmonton Oilers prospect Ethan Cap fired a hard point shot on a BC power play and found the back of the net to give BC a 5-0 cushion heading into the final period of play.
The third period saw a Saskatchewan squad that refused to quit as forwards Alex Kannok Leipert and Keenan Taphorn each scored a power play goal to get within four goals of BC. However, BC forward Brendan Budy scored his second goal of the game to extend BC’s lead to 7-2 and that stood as the final.
BC outshot Saskatchewan 29-23 in the win to claim the bronze medal at the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. BC went 1-3 on the power play while Saskatchewan finished 2-9.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup features the highest-rated players in the U16 age category from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The tournament is a four (4) team round robin format and is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players. Additionally, the event assists the four (4) provincial hockey associations in evaluating top prospects for future high performance programs.
Many National Hockey League (NHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL) players have played at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup for Team BC, including: Griffin Reinhart (West Vancouver, Edmonton Oilers), Morgan Reilly (West Vancouver, Toronto Maple Leafs), Jake Virtanen (Abbotsford, Vancouver Canucks), Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, Seattle Thunderbirds) and Jansen Harkins (North Vancouver, Prince George Cougars).