OHA wins a pair of championships

Timely goals and stellar goaltending helped the Okanagan Hockey Academy capture their first Canadian Sport School Hockey League Prep Division Championship.

The OHA upset the four-time defending champion Edge School for Athletes 3-2 March 2 at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. Wyatt Sloboshan netted the winner with 5:03 remaining in the second period, while Ryan Bowen and Beck Malenstyn found the back of the net as the OHA erased an early 2-1 deficit in the second period. It’s the first time Edge didn’t win the Prep Division Championship. Edge forward Josh McKechney opened the scoring 1:30 into the game, while Danton Oliver gave them a 2-1 lead 2:11 into the second period. After that, OHA goalie Brody Willms turned aside 13 third-period shots and finished with 29 saves. His biggest came in the third period as he dove to preserve the one-goal lead.

The OHA cruised past the Pursuit of Excellence 10-4 on March 1 in the semifinal. Deven Sideroff scored a pair of goals while adding two assists. Malenstyn and Christian Brandt also scored two goals, while Andy Stevens earned four assists and Mathew Campese a goal and three points. Cole Kehler made 32 saves in the win.

OHA Varsity Red defends title

Okanagan Hockey Academy Red took home the Varsity Division Championship for the second consecutive season. They shutout Swiss International Sports & Education Centre 3-0 in Vernon, March 2.

OHA goalie Bailey Stephens made 23 saves, while Blake Holowaty potted the winner at 11:52 of the first period. OHA Red made it 2-0 15 seconds later on a goal by Konnar Dechaine. Ryan Murphy scored the OHA’s third goal. Bogdan Sharapat made 38 saves for SISEC. The win gives the OHA three championships in five years. OHA Red coach Robert Dirk said the championship gives the players a sense of accomplishment and achievement

“We played a very sound and effective defensive game which was the strength of our hockey club this season,” said Dirk, whose team allowed 55 goals in 30 games. “The players understood what they needed to do to be effective and they successfully carried out the game plan to ensure we won.”

In the semifinal, the OHA pushed Pursuit of Excellence Varsity aside 6-0. Brandon Wells made 22 saves.

OHA females named to national team

Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday the 22 players who will compete for National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Budapest, Hungary March 23-30. Among the roster players are Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Hannah Miller, who won a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Finland last January.

Miller will be joined by teammates Micah Hart of Saanichton, B.C. and Vancouver’s Brielle Bellerive.

Canada plays its first game against Japan at 6 p.m. local time/12 p.m. ET on March 23 and also faces Finland and the Czech Republic later in the preliminary round.

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