There will be a lot of Westman flavour at this year’s Royal Bank Cup.
Both the Yorkton Terriers — who are coached by Medora’s Trent Cassan and include forward Derek Falloon of Russell — as well as the Dauphin Kings — who are coached by Melita’s Marlin Murray and have numerous players from the region — advanced to the national Junior A hockey championship through the Western Canada Cup in Dauphin on the weekend.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champion Terriers had a tough tournament — which features the champions from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. — by losing three veterans to injury early in the event, including Falloon with a concussion. However, they finished second in the round robin with a 2-2 record and then defeated the host Kings, who play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, 5-4 in Saturday’s final.
“We had our young guys step in and play very well,” said Cassan, whose team lost in an RBC Cup qualifier last year. “Our best players were our best players at the tournament.
“We had a must-win game against Coquitlam and the team really responded there and we had two very entertaining and exciting games with Dauphin and they’re such a quality organization. To beat them twice on their home ice certainly isn’t easy and there’s a lot of different things we had to push through and I’m happy for the guys.”
Brett Boehm scored four times and set up the fifth goal for the Terriers. Brent Wold had a goal and two assists for the Kings, while Brandonite Brayden Cuthbert, Souris’s Tanner Butler and Dylan Butler also scored.
The Kings got a second chance to qualify for the RBC Cup, which will be held from May 10-18 in Vernon, B.C., on Sunday when they took on the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion Spruce Grove Saints.
Chandler Irvin, Brandonite Hudson Morrison and Killarney’s Aubrey Chapman all scored in the third period as the Kings overcame a 3-1 deficit to edge the Saints 4-3. Dylan Butler also scored for Dauphin, which pulled off the win despite affiliate player Troy Martyniuk playing in net for most of the game.
Jordan Piccolino left after 13:21 with an injury, forcing Martyniuk into the game, in which he made 25 saves.
Tristan Sieben, Corey Chorneyko and Nathan Smith scored for the Saints, who kept their season alive on Saturday afternoon with a 5-3 win over the British Columbia Hockey League champion Coquitlam Express in the 3-vs.-4 playoff game.
Cameron Hughes paced the Saints with a goal and an assist, while Dylan Hollman, Jake Mykitiuk, Carson Samoridny and Sieben also found the back of the net on Saturday.
Spruce Grove trailed 2-0 after the first period, but scored five straight goals to earn the win. Cody Boyd, Canon Pieper and Zach Hodder scored for Coquitlam.