Huge congrats to the Van Isle Ford Midget Rep Bulldogs - a just plain WOW that over 500 fans came out to watch. Unreal! And big congrats to the West Coast Cutting and Coring Bantam Rep Bulldogs, also off to the Island Finals with a 5-3 win over Saanich!
MIDGET BULLDOGS WIN SEMI:
HOME ICE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP
The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs advanced to the Vancouver Island Championship with a 7-4 victory on Sunday in their semi-final game against Saanich Braves. Five hundred fans cheered as the team cranked it up to overtake the visitors in the final 10 minutes. Powell River downed the Grizzlies 5-2 at Bear Mountain in the other semi-final on Saturday.
Alberni Valley will now take on Powell River in the best of three championship series. The first game will be at 1:45 PM, Saturday February 25th at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. Then both teams will head to Powell River for Game 2. Game 3 if necessary will be back in Port Alberni on March 3rd.
In Sunday's game the host Bulldogs played cautiously to start and spent a lot of time in their own zone. They allowed Saanich a one goal lead at 12:13 of the first period. Chase Gaudreault evened that up at 4:29 with helpers from Logan Savard and blue liner Tyler Ibsen.
In the middle of the second period Saanich jammed the crease to go up 2-1. Colby Lim on power play led a pass to Cam MacAdams who worked it to the net and then dropped the puck in the slot for Beau Wilson to make it 2-2. But Saanich came right back to take the lead again at 5:26 and held on to the end of the period.
Although the Bulldogs ramped up their game in the third period, Saanich was just as determined and held the 3-2 lead until the middle of the frame. The turning point came near the middle of the period when goalie Gianni Crema stoned a Saanich breakaway attempt. Then at 10:58 Tyler Wilhelm hammered the puck through the 5 hole from right in front. Cory Beecroft assisted. It was the first of five unanswered goals. MacAdams from Savard and Ibsen made it 4-3 at 9:59. Beecroft and Lim set up Wilhelm's second goal with a man advantage at 6:54, then Lim scored unassisted off a rebound at 3:41. Finally Wilhelm and Lim supported Gaudreault's second goal with 1:38 left. Saanich still had some bite and took one back for the 7-4 final score. Coach Brent Demerais said of the team, "Their size and conditioning paid off in the end. The game turned when they started going hard to the net."
The players took a moment to salute their fans after the game. They are looking forward to the first championship game on Saturday and hope to see the same people and more come out. There will be two championship games that day as both the Midget A and Bantam Rep teams will be playing back to back.
Come out and see what our Alberni Valley boys will do!