The sixth annual Fraser Valley 3 on 3 Classic hockey tournament wrapped up late last month, with over 400 players from all across the region battling it out before organized hockey returns to local rinks.
The event featured kids aged seven to 19 and showcased players from local minor hockey associations, Canadian Secondary Schools Hockey League teams, BC Hockey AAA teams, and players on Junior A and B squads.
Games occurred at Matsqui Recreation Centre, MSA Arena and the Summit Centre. Players competed from Aug. 11 to 29.
The Tigers team won the Division 1 playoff group for the first time this year. The Tigers are a group of friends, including three sets of brothers from Abbotsford and they have been competing as a team for the past three years.
Tigers player Jordan Dhillon scored a goal late to give the Tigers the lead and they held on to win the championship.
In another Division 1 playoff group, the Pineapples won the championship game against the Geckos. The Pineapples consist of kids from both Abbotsford and Aldergrove. The Pineapples also won their championship game last season.
The Fire Kitties, a Division 2 team made up of kids ages 12 to 14 years old won their championship game against the Saints with a final score of 8-7.
According to tournament organizers, the Division 3 championship game between the Selects White and the Kraken was one to remember. The Kraken had a 6-3 lead late in the game, but the Selects White team came back in the final minutes to win the game 8-7. The Selects White team was made up of nine and 10-year-olds from Abbotsford, the Fraser Valley and one player from Idaho.
In Division 4 there was a championship game between two all-female teams. Team Ice and the Black Widows went to overtime but neither team could score so the game went to a shootout. The Black Widows won the shootout and the championship trophy.
Organizers stated that the best goaltending performance of the tournament was by Sunnyvale goalie Joel Riedel in his team’s championship game against the Sturgeon. Riedel made a number of highlight reel saves in this game to give his team a chance to win. The Sturgeon scored a couple of late goals in the final period to take the lead and win the game despite the play of Riedel who faced over 50 shots in the game.
Other championship games included: the Slices winning in Division 4, the Jets winning in Division 3, the Jr Rockies winning a Division 2 playoff group and the Red Bandits also winning a Division 2 playoff group.
Another highlight from this year was a successful equipment swap meet and bottle drive. Over $1,500 was raised that will be put towards players hockey registration fees and the rest will be donated to the Cyrus Centre in Abbotsford.
For more on the event, visit 3on3classic.com.