Abbotsford in contention for B.C. title

The Abbotsford Hawks put themselves in a great position to win the Tier 1 bantam B.C. championship tournament they hosted this week.

The Abbotsford Hawks put themselves in a great position to win the Tier 1 bantam championship tournament they hosted this week.

With a 3-1 record in round-robin play, and the only game left against a winless Nanaimo (0-4) squad that had been the tournament whipping boy, the host Abbotsford squad looked like a virtual lock to advance to Wednesday night’s championship game as the home team.

Results of that game were not available at press deadline. See www.abbynews.com for details.

The Hawks started the tourney strong, with opening-day wins over the touted Burnaby Winter Club (3-2) and Prince George (7-3) on Sunday.

Monday night brought a matchup with Kamloops – the favourite to win the tournament – and a 5-3 loss.

“We became individualistic, and they capitalized,” said Abby coach Troy Campbell

Tuesday was a matchup with a gritty Cloverdale squad that had employed a trapping style to keep games close. The tactics had earned Abby’s Valley rivals two wins and a tie headed into the game – including a 2-2 stalemate with vaunted Kamloops.

“They tried to frustrate us, and slow the game down,” said Campbell.

But Abbotsford used bursts of speed and soft chips to get behind Cloverdale’s checkers, and they lit the Cinderella squad up for a 5-3 win.

Jake Virtanen had two goals and an assist in the game, and Mitch Skapski had a goal and an assist.