The rubber match may come in the Alberta Pee Wee Tier 1 championships next month.
Sean Richards scored four times and set up another as the St. Albert Sabres stopped the Simons Valley Rebels 8-5 Sunday night in the A final of the 40th annual Vernon Coca-Cola Pee Wee Invitational Hockey Tournament at Civic Arena.
The Rebels clipped the Sabres 7-5 in the finals of a Medicine Hat tournament in November. St. Albert and Calgary are ranked in the top-5 in Alberta.
“This means a lot to us,” said towering Sabres’ 12-year-old defenceman Connor Deighton, moments after leading his team in a victory song during an on-ice photograph session.
“Simons Valley put in a good effort, but I think we were just the harder-working team. I’m really happy we won as you can probably tell. I just think we outplayed them by being more physical and taking harder shots on net.”
Deighton, who pocketed 2+1, used a strong baritone voice in the celebration tune, admitting he practises his pitch in the shower.
Braden Coyle earned 1+2 and Ryan Cox also scored for the Sabres, who had a 50-11 goals for and against total in the eight-team affair. They took home the Amy Myles Memorial Trophy.
“We just didn’t skate hard and we turned the puck over too much,” said ultra-talented 12-year-old Simons Valley forward Brayden Dunn, who scored once in the final.
“We’re going to try to beat them again if we and them get in it (provincials). It was a good tournament. We should have won it, but we just didn’t come out and skate tonight.”
Parker Aucoin, with a pair, Brett Campbell and Cooper Page completed the Rebels’ attack.
St. Albert got a hat trick from Richards in an 8-2 semifinal victory over the Surrey Thunder Saturday afternoon.
Simons Valley parlayed four goals from Dunn into a 12-4 stuffing of the Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs in the other semifinal.
Kaden Black, with two, Brett Lambert and Connor Marritt answered for the Mustangs.
Vernon bowed 5-2 to Surrey in Sunday’s B final, getting two goals from big blueliner Noah Turanski.
Surrey received two goals from Jesse Lansdell and singles from Mitchell Savage, Brad Stonnell and Kyle Stubbins.
The Spokane Jr. Chiefs clipped the Campbell River Tyees 3-2 in the C final, while the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies gonged the Anchorage North Stars 7-1 in the D final.
Spokane’s Dan Holden won the Ernie Kowal Memorial Award as the tourney’s Top Coach.