Alberni midget reps heavy with B.C. experience

The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs are headed to Salmon Arm to compete in the provincial championships.

Meet Port Alberni's midget Tier 2 Island champs.

The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs have distinguished themselves by winning the Vancouver Island Tier 2 championship and will now represent Vancouver Island at the provincial championships in Salmon Arm March 20-23.

They got where they are by hard work, often seven days a week of on- and off-ice training, study and competition under the guidance of good coaches. On top of this they have to keep up with school and they also learn a lot about nutrition, health, physiology and teamwork.

Many team members have reached this level of competition before, playing on the teams that represented the Alberni Valley and Vancouver Island at provincial championships in 2006 (peewee), 2008 (bantam) and 2009 (midget).

The coaches are so proud of their players they would like you to meet the team:

(Back row – left to right): Coach Kevin Somerville. 15 years’ experience coaching minor hockey, the last thee with Alberni Valley rep teams.

No. 14 Brady Janzen – assistant captain. 5”7” 150 lbs. In Gr. 12 at ADSS. Speedy left wing, among team scoring leaders. Third time to provincial championships.

No. 6 Brandon Antonichuk – 5’7”  135 lbs. Grade 11. Another speedy winger who plays with the impact of someone twice his size.  Second time to provincials.

No. 18 Nathan Read – 5’11” 200 lbs. Gr. 10.  An up-and-coming defenceman who moves the puck well and can skate, check and shoot too.

No. 17 Marino Somerville – 5’9” 147 lbs. Gr. 9. A developing power forward who contributes on special teams and scoring as well.

No. 7 Cory Beecroft – 6’1” 200 lbs. Gr. 10.  Another first-year defenceman who likes to deliver body checks, rush the puck and shoot.

No. 9 Tyler Wilhelm – 6’3” 240 lbs. Gr. 10. First-year power forward with precise shooting and passing. Hard to move out of position.

No. 16 Beau Wilson – 5’8” 155 lbs. Gr. 10.  Forward. A speedy play maker who likes to go hard to the puck.

No. 2 Ryan Buse – 6’1”  185 lbs. Gr. 10. A powerful defenceman who likes to rush and shoot from the point.

No. 4 Ryan White – 6’  165 lbs. Gr. 10. A second-year defenceman, good with and without the puck. His second trip to provincials.

No. 3 Jesse York – 5’10” 165 lbs. Gr. 12. An experienced defenceman with the ability to add a scoring touch on special teams.  This will be his third provincial competition.

No. 22 Bryan Read – Team captain. 6’ 185 lbs. Gr. 12. Leads by example. A strong, disciplined defenceman with the ability to step into a power forward role when needed. Fourth time to provincials.

Head coach Brent Demerais – Has coached for 12 years including taking three teams to bantam or midget Vancouver Island championships in 2008, 2009 and 2011, plus a league championship in 2010.

(Front row – left to right): No. 1 Andrew Cusson – 6’1” 155 lbs.  Gr.11 A goalie who has been know to “stand on his head” to keep the puck out, brings experience and depth between the pipes. Second time in provincials.

No. 15 Dustin Diemert – assistant captain. 5’8” 140 lbs. Gr. 12. A fast checking forward who always goes hard to the puck and is making his third trip to a provincial championship.

No. 8 Nolan Jarvis – 5’9” 165 lbs. Gr. 12. A hard hitting, stay at home defenceman.

No. 19 Carson McCulloch – 5’11”, 175 lbs. Gr. 12. A power forward with great hands and exceptional playmaking ability.  Also making his third trip to provincials.

No. 21 Colby Lim – 5’8”, 155 lbs. Gr. 11. Centre. Speed, excellent puck handling and the ability to make plays have him among the top point getters on the team. Also making his second trip to provincials.

No. 13 Sam Visona – 5’8” 145 lbs.  Gr. 9.  Forward. Describes himself as a “grinder” and brings muscle, speed and maneuverability to the task.

No. 12 Brett Williscroft – A/Captain. 5’11” 160 lb. Gr. 11. A hard hitting defenceman with an accurate point shot, back for his second year with this team.

No. 35 Bryce DiRocco – 6’1” 170 lbs. Gr. 9. Standup goalie with arms and legs that snag everything inbound for the net.

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