1st Time Is The Charm: Langley Recap
It was a long trip from our office in Florida out to British Columbia, but what a great way to kick things off in a new market! 18 teams competed this past weekend at The Hockey House in Langley, BC, and it featured some of the best hockey we have seen this year. Of the 9 teams in Peewee and Bantam alone, 7 of those teams qualified as AAA teams! I would like to thank Meka and Trevor for hosting us all weekend long. These guys are diehard roller hockey guys, and I have no doubt they will do well with their new venture, and we certainly look forward to hosting our BC qualifier here for many years to come!
Let’s recap some of the highlights from the weekend’s action…
In the Squirt Division, we featured 4 teams. The Hockey House Army A was the clear frontrunner in this division, and took home the championship by defeating Hockey House Army B in the championship game. North Shore Zulu and the Hockey House Army Mite team rounded out the division. The Hockey House Army A also took a clean sweep in the individual awards with Callum Barker winning the Top Scorer, Corbin Genge the Top Dishman, and Brayden Ehrhardt the Most Valuable Goalie.
Our Peewee Division featured some very strong hockey throughout. During round robin play, the WC Warriors 98 defeated the Prince George Reapers, but fell to both North Shore Zulu and Hockey House Army. Slotted in the 3rd seed for playoffs, they were able to overcome their round robin loss and defeat the Hockey House Army in a fantastic semi-final game that was back and forth and had the rink absolutely buzzing. It was nearly impossible to find a spot along the glass or up in the mezzanine area to see the action. Then, in the championship game against North Shore Zulu, it once again went right down to the wire. With 2.7 seconds left and Zulu down by a goal, they thought they had tied it up after a goalmouth scramble. However, after a brief huddle, the referees waved off the goal, and I can confirm that they did indeed make the right call. I probably had the best seat in the house for that one, as I was directly on the goal line and saw the puck pinned along the goaltenders pads and not completely across the goal line when the whistle was blown dead. Remember, the puck must be entirely across the goal line in order for the goal to count. Baylee Wright of the Hockey House Army was the winner of the Top Scorer and Top Dishman awards after an impressive tournament, while Prince George’s Ryland Anderson won the top goalie award!
Like the Peewee’s, the Bantam Division was fantastic! The Langley 97’s were certainly the class of this division. One of the best games in this division was in round robin play late on Saturday night, and featured the Northern Knights against the Langley 97’s. The Northern Knights jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead before the Langley 97’s battled back to tie it. With the teams trading goals midway through the 2nd period, the Northern Knights once again found themselves up by a goal late in the game. However, the Langley 97’s were just too much to handle and were able to score 3 quick goals in the final minutes to win the game. On Sunday, the Langley 97’s competed their sweep of round robin play by defeating the WC Warriors and North Shore Zulu giving them the top seed heading into the play-offs and a bye to the championship game. In the championship game, North Shore Zulu was able to keep it close, but just couldn’t find a way to get one past Langley’s goaltender Quinton Paille, who was the divisions Most Valuable Goalie, and ended up falling 4-0.
Speaking of the Langley 97’s, in talking to their coach Rod Wright, it appears the plan is for them to make the trip out to Taylor, MI for Nationals North. This is fair warning to all the other Bantam AAA teams. Bring your A game, as this team will be a lot to handle! Led by WHL players, Noah Juulson, who took home the Top Scorer and Top Dishman awards, and Ryan Donaldson, this team plays very well together and does not seem to have a weak link. I look forward to seeing them compete with some of the other high-end teams that will be participating in Michigan. It will certainly be must-see hockey!
Capping off the weekend were 5 teams in the Men’s Division. All 5 teams were very strong, but none stronger than the Codeine Cowboys, who were led by Matt Garb and goaltender Alex Frisk. The Cowboys cruised through their first 3 round robin games before falling to the Tour Rage in a wild game that finished in a shootout and a nifty goal by Team Canada player Max Grassi. However, with the point, the Cowboys clinched the top seed and a spot in the championship game. In the championship, Kirk French and Team X gave them a run, but the Cowboys were just too strong and won 6-4 to take home the championship. Garb put up some impressive numbers in round robin play, tallying 9 goals and 9 assists in 4 games, which gave him the honors of Top Scorer and Top Dishman while Brighton McDonald of Team X was the division’s Most Valuable Goalie.
We know that at least one of these Men’s teams, The Hockey House Army, will be heading out to Taylor to compete in our Men’s Gold Division, and our hope is that a couple others decide to make the trip as well. With the talent that is in this area, they certainly would be able to put together a strong PRO team that could compete with the top dogs in the sport!
So there you have it…. it was a great weekend with a lot of great hockey, and a lot of great people. Thanks to all the teams, coaches, players and parents for coming out in support of this event. I would like to extend a special thank you to the teams who travelled in from out of town, some from very far distances. We recognize and greatly appreciate your support! I enjoyed meeting a lot of new folks, and am already looking forward to next year’s event.
As a reminder, if your team competed this weekend, please check out our Results page under the Schedule and Results tab, and find your qualification for Nationals. We would love to get you out to one of our National Championships this summer. Nationals North is June 21-29 at Taylor Sportsplex, while Nationals South will be July 5-11 at Dreamsports Center in Apex, NC. Both events will be very strong! We look forward to seeing you there!
Until next time….