The Mission Stars Bantam A1 team took home top spot at the Tier 3 provincials in Cranbrook

The Mission Stars Bantam A1 team took home top spot at the Tier 3 provincials in Cranbrook

Mission A1 bantams win provincials

Stars win first-ever banner for Mission Minor Hockey Association.

For the first time ever, a provincial banner is set to be raised by the Mission Minor Hockey Association.

The Mission Stars Bantam A1 team took home top spot at the Tier 3 provincials in Cranbrook, capping off an incredible journey for the team.

Mission defeated Dawson Creek 7-3 in the provincial final last week to secure the banner, getting goals from Chase Newman, Owen Elson, Ethan Dockerill, Jag Mangat, Carson Garneau, Noah Mayer and team captain Ayden Lane.

The Stars had a strong preliminary showing at the event, picking up four wins and a tie. They also took down the North Shore Winter Club 6-2 in the provincial semi-final.

Head coach Dean Rasmussen said it was a memorable ride to the top. Rasmussen pointed out that he and a group of 10 players on the team have been together as a unit for the past three years.

“We started as a group three years ago and our goal was to get to the provincials and win them within those three years,” he said. “I started coaching them in the second year of pee wee and we’ve been growing since then.”

Rasmussen said his goal was to make sure his teams were consistently challenged, both during the regular season and in tournament play.

“We had a successful year in pee wee and then last year was a building year,” he said. “We played in tournaments that would help us and allow us to grow as a team. We only ever won one tournament because we always tried to play in tough events. We never wanted to take it easy and just play to get wins – we wanted to get these kids to learn how to compete.”

Mission opened the provincials with a 9-0 win over Whitehorse on March 19 and then tied Kamloops 4-4 on March 20. They bounced back with a 23-0 win over Cranbrook on March 21 to end off the preliminary stage. Wins over NSWC and Dawson Creek earned them the banner.

Rasmussen said he’s proud to help the MMHA earn the group’s first-ever provincial banner.

“I think it means a lot to the city and the organization,” he said. “Hopefully a lot of kids coming up can see that it is possible to win provincials. I hope there is a legacy moving forward and the kids have someone to look up to now. The bantam’s should have another strong team next year, I’d like to see them repeat.”

The bantam A1’s weren’t the only local team who fared well at provincials, as the Mission Stars pee wee team earned fourth place at their tournament in Dawson Creek.

The Stars opened with a 12-4 loss to the host Dawson Creek team on March 19, and then tied Whitehorse 5-5 on March 20. They had a big day on March 21, with wins over Alberni Valley and Fort St. John to qualify for the playoffs.

Mission then lost 5-4 to Langley, and closed off the event with a 6-4 loss to South Okanagan to finish fourth overall.

The Mission bantam A2’s also competed at provincials, traveling to Revelstoke to play in the Tier 4 division. Mission lost 7-0 to the host team on March 20, but then bounced back with wins over Clearwater and Creston Valley on March 21.

The A2’s then tied Vanderhood 2-2 on March 22, and lost 3-2 to Whistler to close out the event. The team also finished fourth in the province.

The Mission midget rep team traveled to Terrace for the Tier 3 finals, and kicked off the event with a 4-4 tie against Terrace on March 19. The team’s hot streak continued with a 7-3 win over South Okanagan on March 20 and a 4-3 win over Whitehorse on March 21. Mission also lost 2-1 to Cranbrook and closed out the event ranked sixth.

 

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