Sam Steel (Regina Pats) scored the game winning goal, added an assist and was name player of the game as Team Alberta skated to a 4-2 win over Team BC to claim the gold medal!
Once again, Team Alberta came out pushing the play but was unable to get on the board early. Six minutes into the first period, Team BC’s Beck Malenstyn (Calgary Hitmen) jammed a loose puck past Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge Hurricanes) to give British Columbia the 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long however, as Cole Johnson (Swift Current Broncos) finished off a great pass by TJ Brown (Brandon Wheat Kings) at the 11:27 mark.
From there, Alberta took over for the majority of the period, holding BC in their defensive zone and drawing a few penalties allowing them to send a lot of rubber at Brody Willms (Moose Jaw Warriors). Alberta held a 17-4 shot advantage after the first.
Team Alberta didn’t waste much time in the second period before taking the lead on the man advantage. Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants) got the puck in the slot and fired it shelf just four minutes in.
The score stayed the same until the third period, when once again, just four minutes into the third, Steel carried the puck into the offensive zone, used the defenceman as a screen and wristed a perfectly aimed shot just over the pad of the goalie to give Alberta a 3-1 lead.
The two goal lead only lasted a couple minutes though, as Team BC crashed the net again and Caleb Fantillo (Medicine Hat Tigers) jammed a loose puck past Skinner to make it 3-2.
Team Alberta would seal the deal though shortly thereafter. Skyler McKenzie (Portland Winterhawks) was the recipient of a great set up by Alex Rotundo (Edmonton Oil Kings), giving Alberta the insurance goal.
The gold medal win is Alberta’s third at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, previously winning in 2009 and 2011. In 2012, played to a silver medal, falling short against Team BC.
NOTES: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings) had two assists… Nolan Volcan (Seattle Thunderbirds) and Brown also added assists… before the game, Steel and Clague were named tournament All-Stars.