There would be no blown championship final this time around.
In a rematch of the 2015 title game in the varsity division of the Langley High School Hockey League, the Aldergrove Totems avenged their loss from the year before, downing the Langley Fundamental Titans by a 4-2 score.
The championship final was played last week (May 11) at the Langley Twin Rinks.
Jonathan Rees and Tanner Myer had staked Aldergrove to a 2-0 lead but the Titans’ Jackson Qualtrough cut the lead in half prior to intermission.
And then with less than five minutes to play, Langley Fundamental’s Caleb Boelema notched the equalizer.
But the Totems’ Ryan Martel put his team ahead for good and Logan Favel iced the game with an empty-netter and the 4-2 final score.
Rees led the way for Aldergrove with a goal and two assists while Favel had a goal and one helper.
“The boys felt they blew the final last year and wanted to avenge the loss,” said Aldergrove coach Dan Renaud.
“They wanted to bring that trophy back to Aldergrove.”
In last year’s final, the Titans toppled the top-ranked Totems by one goal.
The majority of last year’s team was on this roster as well.
The Totems were the fourth seed heading into the playoffs but they knocked off the first-place MEI Eagles in the semifinals before doubling up the No. 2 Titans in the final.
During the regular season, Aldergrove had tied MEI 4-4 and lost 7-4 to the Titans, although that game was tied until the latter stages of the third period.
“They have a lot of friends on the other teams so a little bragging rights didn’t hurt for motivation,” Renaud said.
Many on the Aldergrove roster have been together since Grade 9 and the core of the team also plays together at the midget level with the Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association midget team which won provincials this past year.
The Totems roster also has a couple of players from the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League.
“It was a terrific bunch of kids to coach,” Renaud said, adding that one of the players just learned to skate and is in their first year of ice hockey. “The community of Aldergrove is very close and these boys are good friends with each other, stuck up for each other, and everyone contributed one way or another to this team.”
This was the Totems’ third varsity title in the past four years.
In the junior varsity division final played on May 9, Casey Whintors broke a 4-4 tie with his second goal of the game to send the Langley Saints to a 6-4 victory over the Mountain Eagles.
Danny Mcleod delivered a beautiful pass from behind the net to Whintors who buried what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Whintors took a beautiful pass from behind the net and buried the winner.
Whintors and Kurtis Trowell scored in the first period and after the Eagles’ Leland Konrath cut the lead in half late in the first period, Clayton Schroeder struck for a pair in the second period for a 4-1 Langley lead. Mountain’s Billy Thompson and Konrath would score a pair of goals 10 seconds apart in the final minute of the frame to make it 4-3.
And with that momentum from their late-period surge, Konrath would complete the hat trick early in the third to knot things up.
But the trio of Schroeder (two goals, one assist), Whintors (two goals, one assist) and Mcleod (one goal, two assists) powered the Saints to the victory.
In addition to Konrath’s hat trick, CJ Christensen, Brayden Louie and Carter Graham had a pair of assists apiece for Mountain.
Langley finished the season with a perfect 6-0 record. -by Gary Ahuja