The Vancouver NorthWest Giants major midget league club did B.C. Hockey proud at the annual Macís Tournament in Calgary. Two Squamish players were key parts of the teamís tournament championship.
Squamish Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) products Malik Kaila and Jarid Lukosevicius helped lead the Giants to their first win at the event since 2009.
The Giants defeated the Carolina Junior Hurricanes 3-2 on Jan. 1 to win the tournament, with Lukosevicius picking up two assists, including the helper on the tying goal. Kaila, playing defence for the Giants, recorded the other assist on the teamís second goal.
The Giants won all seven tournament games they competed in en route to the championship. Lukosevicius picked up nine points in the seven games, including a three-point night against the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs on Dec. 31. Kaila contributed four assists and was part of a strong defence that only allowed 15 goals in the seven games.
Kaila, Lukosevicius and the rest of the Giants will return to British Columbia Major Midget League (BCMML) action on Saturday (Jan. 5). The Giants are in first place in the BCMML with a record of 22 wins, two losses and two ties. Their next game is Sunday (Jan. 13) against the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds in Chilliwack.
Meanwhile, in Quebec, another SMHA product suited up for Team Pacific at the World U17 Hockey Challenge.
Josh Thrower, who competed at the Macís Tournament as a member of the Giants in 2012, got the call to take on some of the worldís best young players.
The tournament concluded on Jan. 3 for Thrower and his teammates, after they defeated Team Ontario 7-6 in the fifth-place game. Pacific won three and lost one in round-robin play but all three wins required overtime or a shootout, which limited the teamís total points. Thrower picked up one goal and one assist, along with a team-high 14 penalty minutes over the five games.
Thrower will now return to his club team, the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Hitmen are battling with the Edmonton Oil Kings for first place in the Central Division, sitting three points out of the top spot.