New West Royals crowned Midget champions

New West Royals crowned Midget champions

New West Royals crowned Midget champions

The Royals were crowned the Midget Tier 2 provincial champions following a 5-2 final victory over the Smokies.

The New Westminster Royals were crowned the Midget Tier 2 provincial champions following a 5-2 final victory over the Greater Trail Midget Smoke Eaters Wednesday night at the Cominco Arena.

The Royals cruised through their three-game round-robin undefeated, then capped off their run to the final with a thrilling 5-4 double-overtime comeback-win over North Delta in the morning semifinal.

“We had a really tough task against North Delta,” said New West head coach Peter Kaulfuss. “Down 3-1, then 4-2 in the third . . . Right from the get-go we believed we would comeback, it was just a matter of when and what period.”

The Royals played disciplined hockey throughout the tournament, and in Wednesday night’s final a combination of speed and skill upfront blew open a close 2-1 lead to give the Royals a 5-2 edge in the second, before shutting Trail down in the third.

New West opened the scoring on a Miller Cressman goal, and would go up 2-0 after Jordan Smith banged in a cross-crease pass from Ben Manville at 9:04 of the first.

The Smoke Eaters replied when Jake Yuris snuck a puck by Royal goaltender Dominic VonSchoenberg from a tight angle at 1:32. The goal was originally called off by the official, but was reconsidered after consultation with the linesmen, and speculation that it was considered good only after a frustrated Royals’ defenceman shot it back into his own net unaware of the referee’s call.

The Royals went up 3-1 six minutes into the second when Manville was sent in all alone on a Taylor Seganfreddo breakaway pass, and the New West forward beat Brandon Youngson on a slick deke, scoring what proved to be the winning goal.

Trail replied when Devin Ghiradosi’s point shot was kicked out by VonSchoenberg but the rebound bounced right to Tyler Ghiradosi who swatted it into the open net, cutting the lead to one at 9:18.

However, the Royals answered when Ryan Heaven snapped a quick shot into the top corner to go up 4-2 with 5:40 remaining, and Seganfreddo would net one of his own as he stripped the Trail d-man of the puck deep in their zone, then walked out from behind the net and beat Youngson high with just 36 seconds to play in the middle frame.

The Royals shut down a Trail attack that looked fatigued over much of the last two periods.

The fact the Smoke Eaters were in the final was a triumph in its own right. Trail was a long-shot to make the championship game coming into the tournament, and after playing in five pressure-cooker matches leading up to the final, they lacked the jump that got them there – a 3-0 win over Smithers earlier in the day, and a thrilling 4-3 victory over North Delta Tuesday to nail down top spot in Pool A.

“I think it (fatigue) was a factor,” said Trail head coach Brian Youngson. “I thought in spurts today we played selfishly, and we hadn’t done that for the last three days. Just things we got away from doing earlier when we weren’t being successful, kind of fell back into. They wanted to do the right things, but I think their bodies just wouldn’t let them, both mentally and physically.”

Trail emerged atop the tougher pool after early favourites Kelowna and Saanich were upset on the final day by a previously winless Williams Lake team that brought the two teams’ playoff quests to an unforeseen and bitter end.

“We had to work hard to get here,” said Youngson. “I think that other side was pretty easy compared to our side.

“Nobody outside or even in our group – I mean to be honest I couldn’t have envisioned this. You hope for it but the way our season has gone, I honestly hoped for a result like this, but I thought the stars would have to align in order to get it. And I thought they just went out and took it. We got lucky there with Kelowna losing, but when our guys needed to be good, they were.”

“I couldn’t be prouder . . . This is a great way to end the season.”

With nine teams split into two pools, the Royals  had an easier time of it in the Pool B round robin, having to play just three games compared to four in Pool A.

Nevertheless,  the Royals did what they had to do to win, skating to three decisive victories over Cranbrook, 7-4, Castlegar, 9-1, and Smithers, 6-4. in the round robin, then  earned their berth with the impressive comeback win against North Delta in double OT, and their convincing victory over Trail in the final.

It was a great tournament for New West, and, according to their third-year coach, the key to the Royals’ success went deeper from what they accomplished on the ice.

“Just trusting each other and believing in each other (was key),” said Kaulfuss. “I was almost in tears before this game, when the boys went around the room and just said that they’d never been more proud to play with this group at this level, and there will never be another team like this again that they’ll play on, so it is a special moment.”

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

A B.C. police officer shows an approved roadside screening device. Photo: Saanich News file
Woman caught passed out behind the wheel in Trail

Police located the 38-year old in her parked but still running car, and had to rouse her awake.

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read