The Van Isle Ford Midget Bulldogs have captured the provincial Tier 3 championship on home ice. The Bulldogs beat Whistler 5-2 in the gold medal game at Weyerhaeuser Arena, in the Alberni Valley Multiplex, Friday afternoon.
The game wrapped up a week of games in the 10-team tournament. Smithers defeated Quesnel in a Friday morning game to take third place in the province.
“We came out hard and we played our game—chip and chase,” Bulldogs’ team captain Sam Visona said. “They (Whistler) are a good team too, but we executed.”
Alberni was up 3-1 after the first period and 5-2 after two periods. Neither team scored in the third. Gary Martin scored the winning goal for the Bulldogs in the first period. Connor Gagnon had two goals and one assist for the Bulldogs. Liam McLeod and Brad Cowan both had two assists for Alberni; Corey Beecroft had a goal and a helper for two points. Logan Savard scored the other goal for Port Alberni.
Visona said the Bulldogs faced more pressure in their semi-final contest against Quesnel, which they won 5-4.
“The boys were more focused for this (final) game,” he said.
For coach Dave Beecroft, the finale is a game he will never forget. Beecroft has been coaching since he was 16, and says this was his final game.
“We’ve had a dream all year long. We asked what our goal was and this is what our team goal was (to win the B.C. title).
“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”