The Wildfire burned brightly at the zone finals last weekend.
Both bantam and peewee iterations of the team captured the banner for the zone as well as the chance to go to Calgary and compete against teams from all over Canada and the world.
The midgets weren’t able to capture the banner, but did do well enough to continue their season at the provincials.
The novices were out in full force as well. In that class, everyone was a winner.
The Bantams had a banner year, running roughshod over everyone they came up against in their lossless season.
The team has been together for a long time, with a core nucleus of players who have played together for five years, said Coach Mike Russell. With all that time together the team works well.
The coach did however have a couple players with whom he was particularly impressed.
Dylan Cathcart led the way in scoring for the team. Compounding Cathcarts scoring with the brilliant goalkeeping of Thoms Reistadt made for a hard to beat team. Add in the leadership of Travis Gook and the rest of the team’s willingness to work and what you got was an unbeatable team.
The tournament itself went much like the rest of the season with 12-4 win against Mackenzie and a 6-2 win against the P.G. Roughnecks.
The wins weren’t easy though. Mackenzie came out strong early in the game, racking all four of their goals before the Wildfire woke up. However, after coming to their senses the Wildfire let it be known none would be them with a twelve goal unanswered streak.
For the last two years, the team has nabbed the runner-up position in the Calgary tournament they are off to this weekend. This year, they hope for something more.
“We’re going in with high hopes of getting our name on the banner again, but this time not as runner-ups.”
The peewee Wildfire burned through their opponents nearly as efficiently as the bantams, with only two losses to their name after a long hard season.
“It was an uphill battle from the start, but we came out on top,” said coach Brian Jarvis.
Though the team started out a bit over-rambunctious, Jarvis said the team has grown and is now one of the most respectful teams in the league.
The peewee team had two P.G. teams to beat in the Championships for the spot in the Calgary tournament, one of which they were tied with for first.
The game against the Prince George Swarm was a close affair, with only one point between the winning Wildfire and the Swarm, with a final score of 6-5. The Prince George Posse, with whom the Wildfire were tied going into the tournament, proved to be less of a challenge for the Wildfire. With the momentum of the first win, the Wildfire kept up the pressure and burned through the Posse, with a 10-6 victory.
Jarvis credited the goalie, Cole Moxam, with great play that helped the team top their competitors.
The team gains two new players from Williams Lake and five from Mackenzie for the trip to the Calgary tournament.
They are looking forward to the tournament, though faces not only tough competition from outside, but the challenge of gelling on the road, along with the nerves that come along with such a large tournament.