A champion was crowned at the U17 Challenge Cup in Penhold, Alberta as the Saints Pro Hockey Academy edged the Eagles Hockey Academy in a thrilling 5-4 nail biter on Sunday afternoon. It was one of many high-paced games that took place at the Penhold Regional Multiplex over the weekend.
SAINTS PRO HOCKEY ACADEMY (3-0-0)
The SPHA (Saints Pro Hockey Academy) began their weekend with a 6-2 win over the Red Wings at the NAIT Arena in Edmonton. Brae Nowoczin had two goals and an assist while Grayson Niehaus had a pair of goals leading the SPHA attack. Sam Lee (1-1-2), Chazz McIntosh and Simon Lovsin (0-2-2) each picked up two points for the victorious SPA team. Grant Rain wasn’t tested often but made 15 saves for the win.
Game two for the SPHA saw them skate to a 6-3 win over the Calgary Crusaders on Saturday morning as they made their way to Penhold to play in their final round robin game of the Challenge Cup. Caleb Kucy (1-2-3) and Travis Raisanen (0-3-3) each had big games for SPHA with Nowoczin continue his hot streak adding a pair of goals. Ty Radke faced 18 Crusader shots, turning 15 aside for the win.
The SPHA found themselves in a heated battle with the Eagles Hockey Academy in the Challenge Cup Final on Sunday in Penhold, scoring late in the third period to secure the win and the Challenge Cup championship. Captain Sam Lee scored with just over a minute to play in the third period giving the Saints the go-ahead marker. Lee also had an assist while Niehaus (1-1-2), Nowoczin, Evan Hiemer and Gabriel Kenny had the other goals for the Saints. Lovsin, Josh Polak and Hunter Harringa all had strong games with two assists each.
FRASER VALLEY ACES (3-0-0)
The Fraser Valley Aces opened their weekend Friday night with a 7-2 win over AMP Academy. Skylar Duncan’s four points (1-3-4) led the way for the Aces balanced attack which saw seven different goal scorers. Kaleb Greer-Evans turned away 29 AMP shots for the win.
The offense continued to flow in game two for the Aces as they cruised to a 10-2 win over the Pacific Canadians. Several players had big games offensively for the Aces, including two goals apiece for Liam Vanderhoeven, Benjamin Wiens and Duncan. Goaltender Tyson Sponchia Made 30 saves for the win.
The Aces concluded their Challenge Cup with a convincing 5-0 win over BC rival the Vancouver Sharks. Jayden Brendt and Vanderhoeven each had two goals for the Aces while Duncan added two assists. Greer-Evans was perfect in net, posting a 20 save shutout.
PACIFIC CANADIANS (2-1-0)
The Pacific Canadians came to Alberta ready to play and started their weekend with a convincing 6-2 win over their BC counterparts the Vancouver Sharks. Emmitt Guest’s hat trick was all the Canadians needed, with Agam Rawan (2-1-3) and Lucas Perez (1-2-3) each adding three points. Declan Lawlor was solid in net, facing 43 Sharks shots, turning 41 aside for the win.
Game two didn’t go so well for the Canadians who dropped a 10-2 decision to the Fraser Valley Aces. Bruce Grey and Blake Russell had the lone tallies for the Canadians while Lawlor split the goaltending duties with Hayden Lovell.
The Canadians ended their Challenge Cup weekend winning the Consolation Final with a 6-3 win over the Calgary Crusaders. Rawan (1-2-3) and Grey (0-3-3) each had three-point games for the Canadians while Meryk Bell, Eduardo Asomoza, Lucas Kalman, Russell and Perez each had goals in the win. Lovell was steady in net, making 39 saves to secure the victory.
CALGARY CRUSADERS (1-2-1)
It was a busy weekend for the Crusaders, beginning with a back-and-forth game with the Vancouver Sharks on Friday night. The Crusaders would come out on top with a 7-4 victory, led by three-point nights from Carson Stone (2-1-3), Cooper Barclay (2-1-3) and Carson Wright (0-3-3). Isaac Hallam turned away 34 shots for the win in net.
Game two for the Crusaders saw them face off against a tough Saints Pro Hockey Academy team. Despite an early 2-0 deficit, the Crusaders battled all game, losing 6-3 in the end. Serres Sadler (1-1-2) and Wright (1-1-2) each had two points while Barclay had the other Crusader goal. Declan Hall was solid in net, making 45 saves on 51 shots.
In what was a must win game for the Crusaders on Saturday night, the team came out with a gritty effort against the Eagles Hockey Academy. Needing to win by three to advance to the championship final, the Crusaders and Eagles battled to a 5-5 tie. Barclay led the way with two goals and an assist while Caelum Eastman (0-2-2), Stone (1-1-2) and Wright (0-2-2) each had two points for the Crusaders.
In Sunday’s Consolation Final, the Crusaders came up short against a strong Pacific Canadians team, dropping a 6-3 decision to wrap up their Challenge Cup weekend. Grayson Wyllie (0-2-2) and Sadler (1-1-2) each had two points for the Crusaders while Seamus Ward and Wright had the other Crusader markers.
RED WINGS (1-1-0)
The Red Wings began their weekend with a tough matchup Friday night against the Saints Pro Hockey Academy at the NAIT Arena in Edmonton. The teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after 40 minutes, but the Red Wings came up empty in the third period dropping a 6-2 decision. Jordan Gagnon and Almas Senic scored for the Red Wings while Sebastien Culham was busy in net, facing 48 SPHA shots.
Their second game of the weekend was the final matchup in the U17 Challenge Cup and saw the Red Wings use a strong third period enroute to a convincing 9-3 win over the AMP Academy. Carter Hogman led the way with three points (2-1-3) while seven other Red Wings (Caleb Leischner, Dylan Konschuh, Jace Gunderson, Dawson Bensmiller, Jordan Gagnon, Tyson Baschuk and Senic) had multiple point games.
VANCOUVER SHARKS (1-3-0)
The Sharks opened their Challenge Cup weekend with a 6-2 loss to their BC rival the Pacific Canadians. Matthew Jackson and Roman Wolynec had the markers for the Sharks while Timur Mikhashin made 37 saves in a losing cause.
With a short turn around, the Sharks were back on the ice against the Calgary Crusaders and battled right to the end in a 7-4 loss. Wolynec continued to have the hot stick for the Sharks, netting a hat-trick and a four-point night. Jackson had the other Sharks tally.
Game three for the Sharks saw them get in the win column with a solid 7-1 win over AMP Academy. Wolynec once again led the charge with a hat-trick while Brady Beliveau added three points (1-2-3). Connor Olsen, Michael Maxey and Jackson also scored for the Sharks.
The Sharks wrapped up their weekend with another BC matchup with the Fraser Valley Aces. The game didn’t go as planned, with the Aces skating to a 5-0 victory. John Aydin was busy in net and kept the game close making 38 saves.
EAGLES HOCKEY ACADEMY (0-1-1)
The Eagles first game of the weekend was a highly entertaining 5-5 tie with the Calgary Crusaders on Saturday evening. Austin Boser’s three points (1-2-3) led the Eagles offensively, with Berkley Gross adding a pair of goals. Leyland Downham and Austin Cooper each had two assists for the Eagles. Bradyn Hewko was solid in net, making 33 saves. With the tie, the Eagles advanced to the Challenge Cup final to face the Saints Pro Hockey Academy.
In what was sure to be a nail biter, the Challenge Cup Final was all that and more. Unfortunately for the Eagles Hockey Academy, a late third period goal dashed their hopes of taking home the championship banner, dropping a 5-4 decision to the Saints Pro Hockey Academy. Cooper had three points (1-2-3) while Ryder Pirnak had a pair of goals for the Eagles. Jedd Stybel made some incredible saves throughout the game, finishing with 30 on the night.
AMP ACADEMY (0-3-0)
AMP Academy played three games this weekend in Penhold, opening with a 7-2 loss to the Fraser Valley Aces on Friday night. After a tough first period, the Aces played well but couldn’t close the gap. Sasha Plourde had both goals for AMP while Tyler Keyes was busy in between the pipes, facing 49 Aces shots.
It was another tough one for AMP in game two as they faced the Vancouver Sharks, dropping a 7-1 decision. Jacob Rota had the lone tally for AMP with Josh Hope doing his best between the pipes, making 52 saves in a losing effort.
Rounding out their weekend was a matchup with the Red Wings. A strong third period by the Red Wings was too much for AMP, dropping a 9-3 decision. Brett Fisher and Jackson MacMaster scored the AMP goals while Keyes was once again busy in net facing 60 Red Wing shots.