A boys’ bantam-age hockey team called the Victoria Capitals has asserted itself in a mainland tournament and come out on top.
The event was called the Quest for the Cup and the cup is precisely what was earned thanks in no small part to a contribution by “The Sooke Express.”
Three friends whose names are well known in local hockey circles just happened to try out for the squad, ending up on the same line.
Abe Lamontagne, Aaron Lott and Jonah Philip stretched their hockey seasons a bit, sort of how good players have a way of doing at this time of year.
They got to make some new friends and take part in something they’ll not soon forget. That’s one of the nice things about success… it tends to get even better with age.
The action took place at some venues that are fun just to visit, like Richmond’s Olympic Oval with it’s striking architecture and ample natural daylight, and the famous Eight Rinks complex in Burnaby.
As it turned out the exciting mini-road trip had the all-important conclusion as the boys tasted victory through their efforts.
The team had its final tournament – “The Quest For The Cup” in Vancouver May 27-29. Playing a total of five games they started with a tie and three wins which took them to the final. The gold cup game was against the West Coast Hockey Club from Wenatchee, WA. It was a 1-1 tie until the third period. WCHC was able to sneak in two goals with only three minutes remaining in the third to go up by a pair. With only 90 ticks on the clock Abe Lamontagne rose to the occasion, scoring twice, set up both times by Aaron Lott. All this in only 30 seconds. The Capitals hung on for the balance of regulation.
They started the overtime strong and fierce with Aaron and Abe back on the ice. Abe was able to pull off the final goal 57 secs into O/T to win the gold cup and bring it back to the Island. These three Sooke boys can hold their heads up high, Abe Lamontagne finishing first, Aaron Lott finishing seventh and Jonah Philip finishing thirteenth overall in points for the Quest for the Cup Tournament.
Spring hockey was a new experience for left winger Abe Lamontagne who says he would have been playing fastball had the opportunity with the Capitals not come around.
Having spent the past regular season in the bantam A division of the SMHA, he said he’ll likely play for another association if the player numbers don’t measure up for a local rep team.
“I am aggressive to the puck,” declared Abe, “strong with passing and skating and play hard in the corners to try and set up plays.”
Milestones really standout for young players and this one certainly did as Abe has it on the top of his personal list.
“We had a strong team and a great group of players. It was a lot of fun,” he said.
“Winning gold was the best experience.”
In future Abe says he’d like to make it to the WAHL and see where he can go from there.
Spring hockey was also a new experience for Jonah Philip whose plans for next year include a return to the Sooke Bantan rep squad.
“I’m a playmaker and assist on many goals for my team, as well as score myself,” described the left-winger.
He’s returned to active fastball duty since the big hockey accomplishment. Like Abe, Jonah lists this recent gold cup win as number one on his list of sporting achievements.
“Ultimately making Junior A or playing in the NCAA,” said Jonah via email about his future hockey goals.
Aaron is hoping there is enough manpower for the bantam reps to play in Sooke next season. The spring hockey competition did not keep him from any other sporting commitments.
Lott is a centreman who describes himself as “a defensive forward who will jump into the play at the right moments.”
Like his linemates he says this past adventure with the Capitals has been his hockey highlight. Improving his skills and making a major midget or junior team are some of his short term goals.