Midget Alberni Bulldogs play for Island hockey title

The Alberni Valley Midget A Bulldogs beat Peninsula Eagles 4-3 in sudden death overtime on Sunday, Feb. 20 to earn a spot in the Vancouver Island Tier 2 hockey championship starting Feb. 27.

The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs will play for the Vancouver Island Tier 2 championship after winning a tense semi-final 4-3 in sudden death overtime against Peninsula Eagles on Sunday.The single game knockout format meant both teams had a lot riding on the result.  The Bulldogs were tentative at first, allowing the bigger Eagles to be first to the puck and control the play.  Peninsula scored after seven minutes, with the Alberni defense tied up in the neutral zone. They scored again early in the second period after a prolonged attack inside the Bulldog zone.Down two goals, the Bulldogs needed to change something. The coaches juggled the lines to step up the physical game with third year players like Bryan Read, Nolan Jarvis and Jesse York. Some solid body checks from the bigger defencemen like Ryan White, Nathan Read and Ryan Buse also contributed.  The momentum shifted in favour of the Bulldogs and led to their first goal in the middle of the second period.  Working down low Sam Visona and Brady Janzen set up Carson McCulloch to score from the right side.Alberni evened it up at the start of the third period.  This time it was Janzen pouncing on a rebound in the slot and firing it through five-hole.  McCulloch and Colby Lim assisted.  Peninsula went ahead again on a power play with 13 minutes left. It was a long five minutes before Alberni got it back. This time it was Janzen pounding it in as he and McCulloch battled in front of the net. Lim collected the second assist. The Bulldogs out-skated the visitors through to the end of the third period.  They had some good chances but were unable to convert.  The score remained tied 3-3 at the end of regulation time.Sudden death overtime lasted two minutes. Coming down the right side, Brandon Antonichuk faked a shot then beat the defence and put the puck to the front of the net where Beau Wilson one timed it under the goalie.  The arena erupted with the realization that Alberni Valley will play for the Vancouver Island title.This was an all round team effort.  The coaches feel the team is gelling at the right time.  Head coach Brent Demerais said that “Their conditioning showed up late in the game.  We need to thank (dryland coaches) Dave and Jill Sherlock for their work with the team all season.”  He complimented Bryce Dirocco who stopped 36 shots for the win and Antonichuk for his fearless work in the corners, both 5 on 5 and on penalty kill.At the end of the game the team gathered at centre ice to salute their cheering supporters in the stands.  They are grateful for the extra fan support and hope for even more in the final.  Special thanks go to Jim Oliver who stepped in to lend his professional touch to the announcements and to Van Isle Ford for their major sponsorship of the team.ICE CHIPS…The Vancouver Island final will be a best of three series against Juan de Fuca Grizzlies. The first game will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27 at Bear Mountain Arena.  The second game will be at home on March 5 and the third game (if necessary) on March 6.

— AVMHA

Just Posted

Vehicle catches fire near China Creek Marina

No injuries in blaze, according to witnesses

North Island College issues brief statement on bomb threat

Threat forced college to close all campuses for one day

Premier wades into fishery closure debate

John Horgan questions the federal government’s approach

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Horse riders resurrect public riding ring near Port Alberni

Open house planned for July 22 so public can check out Beaver Creek facility

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Firefighters put out brush fire in Nanaimo

Fire broke out in the area of a new development under construction in East Wellington

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read