The Whistler Winterhawks Atom Rep team (ages 9 and 10) added another banner to the rafter at Meadow Park arena by placing first overall in their division of the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association, and just missed adding a championship banner this past weekend.
The team went undefeated in 18 regular season games with a record of 15 wins and three ties, and kept that streak alive until the last game of the playoffs, when they lost 3-2 to Burnaby Winter Club.
"It was a great game and the team had tonnes of chances - posts, crossbars, missed open nets, they couldn't bury the puck," said head coach Ian Reith. "It was a bit of a shock after winning all season, but it was a great game.
"It was a really good season for the club and the boys - they all improved so much, which was good to see, and they really came together as a team."
It was a small team with just 13 players and a goalie. There were less than 30 players of Atom age this year, and you have to field a recreational team to be able to field a rep team.
"Numbers were very tight, so if somebody was sick or away the guys basically had to play short," said Reith. "The guys stepped up and double-shifted, we had wingers play defence, that kind of thing.
"These guys want lots of ice time, they have so much energy. We had practices at 6 a.m., but they were still happy to play again that night."
Reith noted that other hockey associations had hundreds of kids of Atom age to choose from, which makes Whistler's accomplishment even more impressive."
The team will stay together to play in a tournament in Victoria at the end of the month. In another tournament in North Vancouver in December they placed second overall, also losing the final game.
The Atom Rep Team consisted of Liam McIvor (captain), Zach Davis, Owen Hart, Gavin Hemmons, Hugh Horler, Liam Long, Ben Raffler, Owen Reith, Gabriel Rushbrook, Connor Toop, Beck Warm (goalie), Will Warm, Nolan Welsh, and Finn Withey. Ian Reith was the head coach, with assistance from Keith McIvor, Rusty Long, Dan Davis, and team manager Wendy Warm.
The regular season banner was the third one added this year, joining banners from the Whistler Female Peewee team (10-3-2 regular season) coached by Lawrence Astel, and the boys' Peewee Rep team (11-6-1 regular season) coached by Cam Fellows.