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Minor hockey teams win championships



The Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association's playoff season wrapped up for two Whistler teams this past weekend, with both the Atom Rep Winterhawks and Bantam house teams winning overall championship titles.

The Atom team plays in the Greater Vancouver Conference and finished the regular season ranked third with a record of 9-8-3 for the season. The team was challenged after moving up from Flight 4 after the teams were reseeded, and had its work cut out for it against a higher calibre of competition. It lost four of its first five games in that category, but only lost four more games over the rest of the regular season. The team also received sportsmanship points in 17 out of 20 regular season games — an additional point that's awarded to teams that avoid major penalties and keep minor penalties under 20 minutes.

In the first playoff round the Winterhawks beat Burnaby A2 by a score of 5-2, paving the way to reach the Final Four tournament. In the tournament, the Winterhawks edged the North Shore Winter Club A3 squad 4-2 and then went on to beat the league champion Seafair Atom A3 team 6-2 to take the championship. Kai Danniels was the team's top scorer, earning hat-tricks in both of the final two games, while goalies Sam Gilmore and Lochlan Rode kept the competition to just two goals per game.

Although they had more games to play, there was no other team after the second of three rounds that could beat Whistler so the championship was awarded a day early.

"We proudly refer to ourselves as a pressure team, we deal with pressure and we deal out pressure," said head coach Casey Vanden Heuvel. "The kids have so much fun on the ice, the coaching staff worked all year on keeping it fun while improving on fundamentals and building confidence with a team-first attitude."

The Atom rep roster included Alex Binette, Ben Brownlie, Stephen Cousar, Mike Friesen, Owen Gilmore, Sam Gilmore, Aiden Legge, Jack Linnell, Milo Malthaner, Aiden McIvor, Jack Morrow, Nik Palm, Lochlan Rode, Austin Ross and Conor Vanden Heuvel. Assisting the head coach were Cam McIvor, Rob Palm, Dave Brownlie, Grant Cousar, and team manager Heidi Rode.

The Atom championship banner will be joined by the Winterhawks Bantam C team. There weren't enough players at that age group to support a second rep team, but the result was a team that went 14-0-0 at the start of the season, and only lost three games after rebalancing. In the second part of the season it went on to post an average of almost six goals per game, while allowing just 38 goals in its last 16 games.

The team went on to win all eight games in the playoffs, outscoring the opponents 56 to 24 to make the final championship game against North Vancouver Bantam C7. They won that game 4-3 with home ice advantage.

The team included Alex Auger, Adam Bell, Scott Coughlin, Matt Davis, Zac Davis, Jared Fogolin, Gavin Hemmons, Liam Hemmons, Hugh Horler, Kolt Hoyle, Isabel Peters, Jonah Regan, Owen Reith and Finn Withey, while Kobe Burton and Tristan Sanders minded the net. Dan Davis was the head coach, joined by assistants Cog Coughlin, Dary Hemmons, Tim Regan and Ian Reith.

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