BC TO FACE ALBERTA FOR GOLD; SASKATCHEWAN BATTLES MANITOBA FOR BRONZE – Team BC will host Team Alberta for the Gold medal on Sunday afternoon at the 2012 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup, while Team Saskatchewan takes on Team Manitoba for Bronze on Sunday morning.
Team BC finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, including a 4-3 shootout victory over Team Alberta (2-0-1) on the opening night of the tournament. Alberta held a 3-0 lead but BC stormed back for three goals in the third period and won it on Jansen Harkins’ shootout goal. Seattle Thunderbirds’ Bantam Draft pick Matthew Barzal and Swift Current Broncos’ prospect Glenn Gawdin led Team B.C. in scoring with four points apiece.
Team Alberta, the two-time defending champion, earned their berth in Sunday’s Gold medal game by beating Manitoba 8-1 on Friday then blanking Saskatchewan 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. Alberta forwards Nick Merkley, a Kelowna Rockets prospect, and Braylon Shmyr, a Brandon Wheat Kings prospect, share the tournament scoring lead with seven points apiece through three games. Alberta Goaltender Zach Sawchenko boasts a tournament-best .961 save percentage.
The Bronze medal contest features Team Saskatchewan (1-2) and Team Manitoba (0-3). The teams met up in the first game of the tournament on Thursday afternoon, with Saskatchewan erasing a 3-1 deficit to post a 6-3 win over Manitoba.
Team Manitoba forward Colt Conrad, a Lethbridge Hurricanes Bantam Draft pick, and defenceman James Shearer, a Calgary Hitmen prospect, shared the team scoring lead with a goal and two assists apiece through three games, while Team Saskatchewan defenceman Ethan Bear, a Seattle Thunderbirds prospect, shared the tournament lead with three goals.
Game 6: Team BC 5 – Team Manitoba 2
Calgary, AB – Team BC skated to a 5-2 victory over Team Manitoba in final round-robin game of the 2012 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup on Saturday evening at Father David Bauer arena in Calgary, AB. With the win, BC improves to 3-0 through round-robin play and will have home-ice advantage in Sunday’s Gold medal match-up versus Team Alberta. Jakob Stukel scored twice and added an assist while Jansen Harkins, Tyler Soy and Nick Chyzowski each finished with a goal and an assist for Team BC. Jackson Keane scored for Team Manitoba, who finish with an 0-3 record in round-robin play and will face Team Saskatchewan in the Bronze medal game on Sunday morning. Markus Daly stopped 21 of 23 shots for BC in the victory.
BRITISH COLUMBIA 5, MANITOBA 2
1 – MB – Keane (Purtill), 5:04
2 – MB – Anderson (Shearer, Nell), 6:24
3 – BC – Soy (Wotherspoon), 11:44
4 – BC – Stukel (Harkins, Chyzowski), 14:06
5 – BC – Harkins (Musil, Stukel), 7:49
6 – BC – Chyzowski (Soy, Reddekopp) SH, 11:26
7 – Stukel, 17:18
BC: 12, 8, 7 = 27
MB: 12, 7, 4 = 23
Daly (BC) – 21/23
Verhelst (MB) – 22/27
Players of the Game:
BC - Stukel
MB – Keane
Calgary, AB – Team Alberta posted a 3-0 shutout win over Team Saskatchewan in Game 5 of the 2012 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup on Saturday afternoon at Father David Bauer arena in Calgary, AB. The win sends Alberta (2-1) through to Sunday’s Gold medal game where they will face Team BC (2-0). Zach Sawchenko turned in a 33-save performance to earn the shutout while Hudson Elynuik, Grayson Pawlenchuk and Dylan Stewart scored for Alberta. Matt Kustra turned aside 19 of 22 shots he faced in the loss for Saskatchewan (1-2), who will play Team Manitoba (0-2) for the Bronze medal on Sunday morning. The round-robin portion of the tournament wraps up with Team BC facing Team Manitoba on Saturday night.
ALBERTA 3, SASKATCHEWAN 0
1 – AB – Elynuik (Estephan), 19:19
2 – AB – Pawlenchuk (Merkley, Xavier), 3:56
3 – AB – Stewart (Gennaro, Comrie), 15:22
AB: 6, 7, 9 = 22
SK: 12, 9, 12 = 33
Sawchenko (AB) – 33/33
Kustra (SK) – 19/22
Players of the Game:
AB - Sawchenko
SK - Pederson