Brandon Vandervalk (right) celebrates his goal with Braden Loland.

Brandon Vandervalk (right) celebrates his goal with Braden Loland.

Bantam Bears roll to victory

The Campbell River Bantam Bears are tournament champions again.

This past weekend, the local group of 13 & 14 year olds travelled to Gold River to take part in the annual Hawks tournament and came away with the championship in an exciting 6-3 win over the Pt. McNeil Warriors. The Campbell River squad came out flying in the first period, scoring 5 times to take a commanding lead. Goals by Reed Price, Dakota Sinclair, Brandon Vandervalk, Austin Gurney and Heydon Campbell put the Warriors on their heels, as goaltender Jared McAneeley made numerous key saves to keep the momentum going for the Bears.

Penalty trouble helped the Pt. McNeil team get on the board with 3 goals of their own, but the constant pressure from the Bears forwards, and stellar defensive play on the back end, plus another goal by Sinclair in the third period gave the Campbell River team their second tournament championship win this season.

Dante Triumbari and Campbell each had two assists, while single assists went to Austin Gurney, Robert Gurney, Kieran Prevost and Jake Bryla. Game MVP went to goalie Jared McAneeley, while Kieran Prevost was given the “Digger” award.

The Bears earned a spot in the final game by defeating the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies 5-3 in their semi final match earlier in the day.

Goals by Sinclair (2), Campbell, Bryla and Vandervalk helped lead the way for the locals, with assists going to Sam Gale, Braden Loland and Triumbari. Game MVP went to Bryla, while Triumbari picked up the “Digger” award.

In round robin action, the Bears defeated Pt. McNeil 6-2 to open the tournament. Vandervalk netted a hat trick, while Robert Gurney had a pair and Campbell with a single. Game MVP was Vandervalk, with the “Digger” honors going to Robert Gurney.

Game 2 for the Campbell River team saw them defeat Powell River 10-2, on goals by Austin Gurney (2), Robert Gurney (2), Vandervalk (2), Loland, Campbell, Prevost and Price. The Bears unselfish play and quick puck movement was the difference in this game, with assists going to Robert Gurney (2), Sinclair (2), Vandervalk, Prevost, Price and Austin Gurney. Game MVP was Price, and “Digger” went to Loland.

The third round robin game was the only blemish on the Bears’ record all weekend, losing 8-6 to the host team Gold River Hawks.

Playing in their third game of the day, the locals were running out of gas, but never quit, and gave the Hawks a great battle right to the end.

Campbell River goal scorers were Austin Gurney (2), Sinclair (2), Bryla and Campbell. Assists went to Robert Gurney (2), Price (2), Gale and Sinclair. Sinclair was given the MVP honors in front of his hometown crowd, while Gale was chosen as the “Digger”

Coaches Hugh Gurney and Rupert Gale were very happy with their teams’ performance once again. “These guys work exceptionally hard every game. They move the puck well and play a very sound positional game. They are being rewarded for their efforts with wins like these”, said coaches Gale and Gurney.

For the Bears, it was their second tournament championship in 3 tries so far this season.

In November, they won the Ryan Clark Memorial tournament in Cowichan, defeating Langley 5-0 in the final, while they lost in the final game of their own tournament here in Campbell River, to the CR Rangers 3-2.


Campbell River Mirror