Whistler’s Garrett Milan may be one of the most dominant players ever to move through the Whistler Minor Hockey Association ranks, and is now recognized among the top midget players in Western Canada.
Last week Milan helped his team, the Vancouver Northwest Giants, finish second overall in the Mac’s AAA hockey tournament in Calgary after losing in the finals to a top-ranked team from Russia. This was the first time that a B.C. team had made the finals in the tournament, and Milan was named to the tournament’s first all-star team as a result of his efforts. He was the only forward with the team to get picked for the first team, but was joined at the awards by goalie Peter Alexander and defenceman Cole Gelley.
The Giants started their tournament with a record of three wins, no losses and one tie in their pool, upsetting the Calgary Buffaloes, Edmonton CAC Canadians, Saskatoon Blazers and Moose Jaw Warriors. All teams have been contenders in past tournaments.
In the quarter-final round, the Giants came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period to beat the Calgary Royals 5-2. They went on to play the UFA Bisons from Alberta in the semi-final, who they beat by a score of 7-2. Milan scored two goals in that game.
The team was badly outplayed in the finals by the Severstal club from Russia, and were down 6-0 after the first period. The Giants played better in the second and third periods, but still couldn’t find the net. The Russians, described as a world-class team by the Giants coach, added another goal to make the final score 7-0.
Milan has been playing outside of Whistler the past two seasons, after helping a Whistler bantam rep team place second overall in the province in 2006. The year before he played on a Bantam C1 Winterhawks team that went undefeated in 30 regular season games, and seven games in the playoffs.