It takes many things to win a 16 team hockey tournament: leadership, hard work, consistency, sacrifice and contributions from all players on the team.
It was the perfect storm of all these attributes that Langley C3 manager Lars Nordal credits for the Langley LY3 taking home the gold at the Paul Brenner Memorial Bantam Hockey Tournament this past weekend.
The tourney, held in Chilliwack from Jan. 5 to 8, was for the recreational division, with 16 teams competing from across B.C.
There were two pools with eight teams each, and in a round-robin play, each team played three games.
The top two teams in each pool then moved on to the semi-finals on Sunday morning.
Langley LY3 went undefeated in the tournament, with four wins and one tie, earning them the gold.
It was the team’s second win of the year, Nordal said, noting their success at a Cowichan tournament in November.
“The team battled through adversity and overcame many obstacles throughout the tournament,” said head coach Kevin Taylor.
“They showed great discipline, commitment, and personal sacrifice to remain highly focused on the outcome.”
On the scoreboard
Langley played three round-robin games.
• Langley’s first game was played Thursday against Chilliwack C6.
They prevailed 6-2, led by game MVP Nick Romero who had a goal and an assist.
The sportsmanship award went to Curtis Goode who finished the game with two goals and an assist.
Defenceman Shane Taylor also chipped in with an assist for Langley.
• Game two was played Friday, when Langley defeated Chilliwack C4 by a score of 7-1.
Game MVP for Langley was Tyson Burgess who scored a hat trick.
The sportsmanship award went to defenseman Eric Nordal who assisted on Langley’s first goal.
Forward Braeden Macdonald also scored a goal for Langley.
• In Game three, played Saturday, Langley faced off against what the coach called a “very strong team” from Abbotsford C2.
Despite falling behind 1-0 early in the game the Langley team showed “great determination” to come back and earn a 2-2 tie.
Game MVP was goaltender Dominic Williams who made numerous big saves to keep his team in the game.
The sportsmanship award went to Ethan Jancowski who had a strong game at forward for Langley.
• Langley finished round-robin play with 7 points (2 wins, 1 tie, and 2 sportsman points), which earned the team second place in green pool and a trip to the semi-finals.
• In the semi-final game played Sunday morning, Langley played Abbotsford C4 – the top team from the other pool.
Langley ran into a hot Abbotsford goaltender, but still prevailed by a score of 2-0.
Game MVP Mark Napier scored the first goal for Langley driving to the front of the net and banging in a loose puck before getting knocked on his butt by the Abbotsford defenceman.
The sportsmanship award went to Steven Chambers who played a great game on defence for Langley.
Emmett Fast played a strong game at forward for Langley.
• Langley had earned a spot in the championship final to be played Sunday afternoon.
In the championship final Langley played host Chilliwack C2.
The referee put his whistle in his pocket and the game turned into a very physical affair. Langley showed great control and discipline the entire game and kept their focus on playing great hockey, Taylor said.
Their strategy earned them a 3-1 win. Game MVP for Langley was Ciaran Wessel who scored Langley’s first goal banging in a rebound in front of the net.
The sportsmanship award went to Brennan Early who had a strong game at forward for Langley.
Hayden Davies chipped in with an assist on the game winning goal for Langley.
“We played a structured and methodical game in the championship final, we did what it takes to win.” Taylor said.
“The coaching staff is incredibly pleased with how the team has progressed to this point in the season and the level of commitment that every player is showing to the team. Winning two tournaments in a season is tough to do and the team showed great poise and determination,” he concluded.