The field of five teams that will compete at Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup, April 29th – May 7th, in Penticton, B.C., has now been finalized.
The last two clubs to punch their tickets to the five-team event were secured Wednesday evening as the Portage Terriers (MJHL) and Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) captured their respective league championships joining the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) who claimed their title Tuesday.
Meanwhile the Penticton Vees (BCHL) hold a 3-1 series lead on the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) heading into game five Saturday, but with the Vees also set to host the Western Canada Cup, both those sides will also compete regardless of the outcome of the BCHL final.
Two of the five clubs that will take part at the Western Canada Cup will earn berths to the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship, May 13th – 21st, in Cobourg, Ontario.
MJHL Turnbull Trophy Playoffs: After falling in the first two games of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Turnbull Trophy Final to the OCN Blizzard, the Portage Terriers stormed back with four consecutive wins to claim their third MJHL championship in a row, including take the eventual deciding game six by a narrow 1-0 margin, thanks to the 27-save shutout by Kurtis Chapman.
With the result, powerful Portage also won their league crown for an impressive seventh time in the past 10 years.
The Terriers Josh Martin was named MJHL Playoff MVP.
OCN Blizzard vs. Portage Terriers
Portage wins best-of-seven series 4-2
Game 1: OCN 8 Portage 3
Game 2: OCN 6 Portage 0
Game 3: Portage 3 OCN 2
Game 4: Portage 4 OCN 3 (OT)
Game 5*: Portage 3 OCN 1
Game 6*: Portage 1 OCN 0
SJHL Canalta Cup Playoffs: The Battlefords North Stars started strong in the SJHL’s Canalta Cup Final winning twice at home over the Flin Flon Bombers before taking game three in overtime on the road at Whitney Forum and then winning it all with a narrow 6-5 decision Wednesday to claim the crown in Saskatchewan.
Battlefords was a juggernaut in SJHL postseason going undefeated along the way rolling to 12 straight victories along the way to capture the first SJHL title since 2000.
Earning league most valuable player laurels was Battlefords’ Coby Downs as the North Stars led all SJHL skaters in playoff offensive production with 25 points with four goals and 21 assists.
Battlefords North Stars vs. Flin Flon Bombers
Battlefords wins best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Battlefords 3 Flin Flon 0
Game 2: Battlefords 5 Flin Flon 1
Game 3: Battlesfords 2 Flin Flon 1 (OT)
Game 4: Battlefords 6 Flin Flon 5
AJHL Gas Drive Cup Playoffs: The AJHL’s Gas Drive Cup championship saw the No. 1 seeded Brooks Bandits proved to be too much for the Whitecourt Wolveries as they skated to a four-game sweep and claim their second consecutive league title.
Brooks won handily at home to take a 2-0 series lead into Whitecourt where they won 3-2 in game three before winning it all with a 4-1 victory Wednesday.
The AJHL’s defending champion lost just one game in the postseason and outscored their opponents 75-16.
Standout Bandits’ defenceman Cale Makar was named AJHL playoff MVP for his contributions on both ends of the ice.
Brooks Bandits vs. Whitecourt Wolverines
Brooks wins best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Brooks 9 Whitecourt 1
Game 2: Brooks 3 Whitecourt 0
Game 3: Brooks 3 Whitecourt 2
Game 4: Brooks 4 Whitecourt 1
BCHL Fred Page Cup Playoffs: After dropping the first game of the Fred Page Cup BCHL Final to the Chilliwack Chiefs, the WCC-host Penticton Vees reeled off three straight victories to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven affair, including a dramatic 4-3 triumph Wednesday where the Vees stormed back from a three-goal deficit midway through the contest before prevailing 2:05 into the extra session on Ryley Risling’s game-winner.
Game five goes Saturday in Chilliwack as the Chiefs will look to extend the series and force at least a game six Monday in Penticton.
A seventh and deciding match-up, if necessary would be held on Tuesday.
Chilliwack Chiefs vs. Penticton Vees
Penticton leads best-of-seven series 3-1
Game 1: Chilliwack 4 Penticton 2
Game 2: Penticton 5 Chilliwack 1
Game 3: Penticton 5 Chilliwack 2
Game 4: Penticton 4 Chilliwack 3 (OT)
Game 5: Saturday, April 22 @ Chilliwack 7 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 24 @ Penticton 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Chilliwack 7 p.m.