It was a long road trip for the Van Isle Ford Midget A Bulldogs, who competed in the Cranbrook International Hockey Tournament over the Dec. 9-12 weekend.
The tournament included teams from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana and Washington.
Alberni opened against the Bruins of Missoula, Montana on Friday and dominated play for a 14-2 win.
On Saturday morning Alberni took on a strong team from Spokane Washington, ending up in a 2-2 tie. Two hours later Alberni was back on the ice to play host Cranbrook Ice. The hard hitting contest also ended in a tie, 6-6.
As the runner up in Pool A, the Bulldogs advanced to the semi-final against the Saints, an elite team from the Parkland Athletic Club in Spruce Grove Alberta.
The Saints swept their games in Pool B.
The Bulldogs came back from a 4-1 deficit to knock off the Saints 6-5 and advance to the medal game in a rematch with Cranbrook Ice.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period, but from that point on the Bulldogs were kept shorthanded half the time by a referee whose interpretation of the rules seemed to be very different from those in the previous games.
In the end Alberni Valley lost 6-2, but claimed the silver and brought home another trophy.
For the team the trip was a success, both in showcasing their skills in an international competition, and in raising their unity as a team to a new level.