At the Tier 4 B.C. Hockey Provincials in Port Alberni between March 13th and 16th, the Windermere Valley Midget Rockies wrapped up one of the most successful seasons in its history, but the quest for a provincial title came to an abrupt end when the Midget Rockies returned to the Columbia Valley.
“We had a really strong year and it’s rare to have that many senior players on a team, but it all came together with a division of veterans and rookies with players coming from Golden and Cranbrook,” said Darryl Turner, midget Rockies coach. “We, through the year, won our banner and went to provincials.”
The Windermere Valley won 10-1 against the Alberni Valley during their opening game on March 13th.
Prince Rupert edged out the Windermere Valley 2-1 during the second game on March 14th, but the Windermere Valley won 3-2 against Burns Lake in overtime on March 15th.
During the Windermere Valley’s fourth game on March 16th, the Rockies won 11-0 against Surrey.
Three wins and one loss landed them in the Championship Game, also on March 16th, against Prince Rupert, which Windermere Valley lost 3-2 in an extremely close game.
“It was a sudden death overtime,” explained Turner. “There was 58 seconds left in the first 10-minute period and then they were going to clean the ice… There was a lucky bounce and then they scored.”
“Anyone who came out and watched us play were surprised, I think, at the talent that the local midget team has,” said Turner. “There was another midget team a few years back that put a lot of players into junior hockey and this team probably rivals the talent level and the depth of that team — it was probably one of the best midget teams that a community our size will see in a long time. It was exciting to coach, the players worked hard to improve and it’s just unfortunate that we were one goal short of putting the provincial banner up.”
“It was a strong year,” agreed Dwight Lee, Midget Rockies assistant coach. “We came up short (at provincials), but the boys developed a lot and got better as the year went on. Although we didn’t meet our end goal, it was a positive season.”
He added there was no shortage of support for the Midget Rockies when the community was pushed to show their commitment to the team.
“We’d like to thank the community with respect to the bottle drive and the fundraising efforts for provincials,” added Lee. “It was greatly appreciated.”
The Rockies left the Alberni Valley Multiplex provincial championships with three wins, two losses, zero ties and a grand total of eight points.
For complete results, visit www.bchockey.net.