For the second year in a row a Kelowna hockey team has claimed the championship trophy in the long-running Port Coquitlam International Bantam Hockey Tournament.
Kelowna’s bantam tier 1 Rockets claimed the championship banner by going undefeated in six games to claim the top trophy in the 34th annual tournament
Reid Kilburn had a shutout over Surrey in the final game to cap the championship performance by the Kelowna Paragon Pharmacy Rockets Tier 1 bantam boys hockey team.
The Rockets cruised to lop-sided victories over the Comox-Courtenay Chiefs, Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the Edmonton Southside Athletic Club, with the three game goal differential being 27-4. It was a much tougher game against the Surrey Eagles in game four against a much bigger Surrey team. The Kelowna club held on through a third period Surrey onslaught to post a 1-1 tie.
Next up was a semi final match against the Westside Warriors in which the Rockets earned a 4-1 victory.
That set up a rematch with Surrey in the championship game.
This time it was a different story as three-time offensive MVP Carter Hikichi opened the scoring with a beauty backhand move to the top corner on a breakaway. Two more goals in the first period made it 3-0 Kelowna and set up a rough, penalty filled 2nd period.
The Rockets penalty killers were tested and and held strong as Kelowna eventually added to its lead and won by a 6-0 score.
Kelowna rearguard Gen Bryshun was named the tournament MVP for defence while Brandon Wagner took home the glass engraved trophy as the tournament’s Most Sportsmanlike Player.
The Tier 1 Kelowna Bantam Rockets are: Reid Kilburn, Josh Johnston, Matthieu Bourbeau, Justin Lange, Gen Bryshun, Landon Horne, Ty Cridland, Braden Eliuk, Austin Lindsay, Murray Gaffney, Josh Blanchard, Jackson Fulton, Brandon Barnes, Anthony Ormiston, Branden Wagner, Eric Noh, Dustin Kostiuk, Carter Hikichi and Sam Bobyn. The team is coached by Tom Watters.