The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds capped off an incredible season Saturday night, capturing a B.C. Major Midget Hockey League championship.
The T-Birds traveled to Prince George to face the defending champion Cariboo Cougars in a best-of-three series that started Friday night at the Kin Arena.
The Thunderbirds came into the series as underdogs, but skated away with a 5-2 victory in game one, with Matthew Konrad (Abbotsford) scoring twice. Will Dow Kenny (Mission), Dylan Stolz (Abbotsford) and Jake Mulder (Abbotsford) also scored with Chilliwack native Travis Halladay chipping in an assist.
Hope native Dawson Pelletier was between the pipes for game one and returned to the cage for Saturday’s championship clinching win.
Halladay picked up two points in a 4-2 triumph, scoring once and setting up one of two goals from Langley’s Justin Plett. Stolz also scored for the T-Birds, whose winning roster included Chilliwackians Zack Feaver and Jackson Mainse.
Not appearing in the finals were two Chilliwack natives who played key roles for Fraser Valley during the regular season and playoff push, Bowen brothers Ethan and Jason.
The Thunderbirds claimed the Cromie Memorial Trophy, becoming the sixth different BCMMHL champion in the last six seasons.
Previous winners were the Vancouver Northwest Giants (2013), the Okanagan Rockets (2014), the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs (2015), the Valley West Hawks (2016) and the Cougars (2017).
The Thunderbirds move on to face the winner of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL), at the Pacific Regional Championship, which runs April 6-8. Fraser Valley will be playing at home, though arena locations and times have yet to be announced.
The winner of that series will earn a berth in the TELUS Cup, Canada’s national midget championship tourney, running April 23-29 in Sudbury, Ontario.