Coldstream’s Cole Sanford (top left), and fellow B.C. products Lucas Nickles (Salmon Arm, clockwise from top), Trevor Cox (Surrey), Cole Linaker (former Kelowna Rocket) and Tanner Clarkson (West Kelowna) helped the University of Alberta Golden Bears win its 16th national men’s university hockey championship Sunday. (University of Alberta photos)

Sanford helps Bears win 16th CIS title

Cole Sanford has an assist in final as Alberta beats St. Francis Xavier 4-2 for national title

A handful of B.C. products helped the University of Alberta Golden Bears win the U-Sports Canadian Men’s University Hockey championship Sunday at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton.

Coldstream’s Cole Sanford, Salmon Arm’s Lucas Nickles, West Kelowna’s Tanner Clarkson, Trevor Cox of Surrey and former Kelowna Rockets forward Cole Linaker were on the Bears roster that defeated the St. Francis Xavier X-Men of Antigonish, NS 4-2 in the David Johnston University Cup final.

It’s the Golden Bears’ 16th national championship.

Like they did against conference rivals Saskatchewan Huskies in the semifinal Saturday, Alberta rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the championship.

Sanford had an assist on the tying goal. Wil Tomchuk of Fort McMurray, Alta., a former member of the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars, scored the winner at 14:48 of the second period for the Golden Bears.

Alberta goalie Zach Sawchenko was the Golden Bears’ player of the game. He was also named the tournament’s all-star goalie.

The Golden Bears advanced to the final by rallying to beat the Huskies 3-2 in overtime with Cox scoring the winner. Alberta swept Saskatchewan 2-0 to win its 27th Canada West championship. Both teams advanced to the national finals.

Alberta opened the tournament with an 8-6 win over the Acadian Axemen of Nova Scotia. Sanford had a goal and two assists for the Bears.

The host University of New Brunswick Reds – overtime losers to St.FX in the semifinal – won the bronze medal, beating the Huskies 5-4 in OT.

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