UPDATE (March 8): Both the U18A1 and U15A1 teams qualified for the Provincials at their respective Final 4 round robin playoff series over the weekend. U18’s B.C. Championships take place in South Delta and U15’s in Kelowna, both from March 18 to 22.
Several local hockey teams are amid playoff contention from March 3 to 5, hoping to secure bids to provincials.
All three teams for the Sea to Sky Bears — U18 A1, U18 A2 and U15 A1 — advanced to the Final Four, where the top teams in the round-robin style of play will earn a spot in provincials, the ultimate goal for at least U18 A1 said head coach Mike Borrelli in a February interview with The Squamish Chief.
On March 3, U18 A1 beat South Delta, the number one ranked team, 3-1. The U18 A1 continues against Cloverdale on March 4 then Port Coquitlam on March 5.
U18 A2 lost to Mission on March 2, 4-2, but will pick back up against Aldergrove on March 4 evening then New Westminster on March 5.
U15 A1 lost to Port Coquitlam, 4-2, but has games scheduled against South Delta and Vancouver MHA over the next few days.
These playoff matchups come off the heels of several local teams putting on a show over the February long weekend en route to tournament wins for the teams.
For the Sea to Sky Bears U18 A1 hockey team, it was another tournament and another victory.
The team won the Jim Lindsay Memorial Hockey Tournament over the long weekend hosted by Ridge Meadows. It was the Bears’ third first-place finish in as many tournaments, winning five games to one loss along the way.
“We ended up winning gold in the finals versus Ridge Meadows in a pretty tight game,” said Mike Borrelli. “It ended up 4-2 in the finals.”
The Bears weren’t the only local hockey team celebrating a win from the long weekend. The Squamish Eagles U11 A1 won the Coquitlam Minor Hockey’s annual U11 A Pup Tournament with five wins and one tie, according to Wendy Moore.
The Eagles went into the finals against Williams Lake and ultimately beat them 7-2.
For the Bears, Borrelli said the team started off the regular season really well with a small dip in the second half. But with the most recent tournament win, he said the Bears are now 15-1 in tournament play which has been a boost as the team heads into the playoffs.
“Obviously, it's outstanding for our group and it's definitely a confidence builder,” he said.