CALGARY - Despite trailing in the early goings of the game, Team Alberta kicked off the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup with a 6-3 win over BC Wednesday night.
In a rematch of the 2013 Gold Medal game, which Team Alberta won, BC jumped out to an early lead on goals by Liam Kindree and LukaBurzan, before Josh Tarzwell put Alberta on the board late in the first period.
BC would regain a two-goal lead in the second period thanks to Tyler Popowich, but goals from Josh Prokop and Nicholas Bowman just 24 seconds apart would tie the game at 3-3 after two.
Team Alberta carried the momentum into the third, taking its first lead of the game on Chase Wouters’ marker, and added a pair of insurance goals as Bowman and Prokop each landed their second goals of the game.
Goalie Carl Stankowski was able to brush off a shaky start and earn the win for Alberta, stopping 19 of the 22 shots he faced.
Jordan Naylor took the loss for BC, allowing five goals on 33 shots before being pulled and replaced by Donovan Buskey, who allowed one goal on three shots in relief.
With two assists, Spencer Moe was named the Player of the Game for Team Alberta, while Captain Ethan Cap took the honour for BC.
"It’s something we discussed as a team in pre-planning, with the ins and outs of a short-term competition," Coach Bobby Fox said of his team’s come-from-behind win. "You could be down two in the first 5 minutes, but there’s 55 minutes left in the game. The guys showed character, remained poised, and didn’t stop working."
Team Alberta now shifts its focus to Team Saskatchewan, who are coming off a narrow 4-3 loss to Team Manitoba Wednesday afternoon.
The two teams hit the ice at 3 p.m. at the MarkinMacPhail Centre in Calgary, followed by BC and Manitoba at 7 p.m.