A middle-of-the-pack team in Alberta so far this season, there was nothing mediocre about the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ performance this week in B.C.
The Hurricanes edged the Yale Academy Lions 2-1 in a shootout Sunday at Rutland Arena to capture the 36th edition of the Kelowna International Elite Midget Tournament.
“It’s a big win for the program, a big notch on our post if you will,” said Hurricanes’ coach Doug Paisley. “It’s a great tournament, good for us to come and see these academy teams, and a testament to the depth of the team and the program we’re trying to run in Lethbridge.”
The Hurricanes, who posted a 3-1-1 record the round robin, advanced to the final with a 1-0 shootout win over the Saskatoon Contacts on Saturday night in the semifinal.
For Yale, the top-ranked prep team in Canada, the final was their only defeat in seven games at the 12-team tourney.
Other than falling short of a title, Yale head coach Brad Bowen said the Abbotsford-based U18 program was thrilled with its first appearance at KIMMT.
“It’s well-run event, one of the best we’ve been to,” said Bowen. “Refereeing was good, staff was real good, they accommodated us real well…so we’ll look forward to coming back next year.”
The defending KIMMT champion Okanagan Rockets finished with 2-3 record and failed to make the playoffs. OK Rockets’ goaltender Cole Demers was named to the tournament’s all-star
The host Kelowna Fripp Warehouse Rockets went winless in five tries, but had a couple of close calls, losing 4-3 to the champions from Lethbridge and 3-2 to Moose Jaw.
Kelowna’s tournament MVP bursary award went to Rockets’ defenceman Joel Scrimbit.