Salmon Arm’s bantam Average Bears hockey team won tournament gold over the weekend, tallying up an undefeated record on their way to the top of the standings.
Three teams from the Shuswap were in the running at the Shaw Centre during the bantam tournament held March 8-10.
In one of the first games of the tournament, the Salmon Arm Renegade squad had a rough, high-scoring match against the Hope Wildcats, falling in a 9-6 defeat by the time the final buzzer rang.
The regular season champions on the Average Bears’ bench busted out a nice 3-0 shutout victory over the Ridge Meadow Rustlers. The Average Bears are the first bantam team to hold the championship banner in Salmon Arm for several years, and they continue to play with determination.
The Salmon Arm Silvertips bantam team was the next up, facing off with the Semiahmoo Chiefs during the final game of Friday night competition. The Silvertips, who have also held a good record over the season with a handful of tournament placements under their belts, stopped the Chiefs in a 6-2 victory during their late-night game.
Coming into Saturday competition, the Average Bears pulled off their second shutout win of the tournament, narrowly edging out the Kamloops Brawlers in a 1-0 finish.
In their second game of the tournament, the Silvertips hit the ice against the Chilliwack Thrashers for another big win, finishing 7-2 and coming out victorious against the Thrashers.
Salmon Arm Renegade also pulled off a win against visitors from Langley, dropping a 4-3 decision and coming out victorious by a single point.
Play continued throughout Saturday, March 9, running late into the evening as teams battled it out to decide the matchups for the finals.
The Average Bears would go on to qualify for finals and sweep the tournament undefeated, to take the trophy and cap off a record-breaking season with a tournament win.
Kamloops and Hope brought up second and third, respectively, with Salmon Arm teams making up both the fourth and fifth place spots.