By Medicine Hat News on June 12, 2019.
With dozens of teams from out of town, the Medicine Hat Sun Devils knew having any of their teams win their hometown tournament would be a tall order.
So when not one, not two, not even three but all four gold medal games at the Lax to the Max Tournament Sunday featured Sun Devils squads, well, that was something to be proud of.
All but one of division finals saw a championship trophy hoisted by a Hat team, led by the Bantam 2 Sun Devils whose final was a matchup between the two home sides.
The Bantam 2’s beat the Bantam 1’s 9-2 at Hockey Hounds Rec Centre, led by Daylen VanDorp’s four goals and three more from Jayden Richards. They’d also beat the Calgary Hornets 4-1, the Calgary Sabrecats 11-6 and Weyburn 10-4 in the round robin.
Players of the game from the Bantam 2 team included VanDorp, Richards, Zach Angstadt and Houston Eakins. For the Bantam 1’s, top players included Kohen McClain, Torin Thickson, Carter Schnuth and Madden Kelly.
It was pretty clear which two teams ruled the roost in the midget division, and sure enough it took extra time to decide which one would take gold Sunday.
At the Moose Rec Centre, Medicine Hat’s Josh Drefs scored late in double overtime for a 4-3 win over Swift Current in the title game.
Swift Current had won the round robin matchup between the teams 5-4 on Friday. The Devils barreled through Weyburn (15-0) and Estevan (15-2) to clinch the rematch, then got two goals from Callen Prosofsky and one from Zachary McBride before Drefs potted the championship goal.
Top weekend scorers for the Sun Devils were Bryson Helmle with six, Drefs, Prosofsky, Evan Ertmoed and Matthew MacPherson with four, and Drefs and Lyndin Milnthorp with three each.
After beating three different Calgary teams, the peewee Sun Devils ran in to a hot Lethbridge Cudas squad in Sunday’s final.
At the Family Leisure Centre, Lethbridge got out to an early 5-0 and won 7-3.
With plenty of close finishes, it was a great weekend for the host side. They beat the Calgary Knights 5-3 Friday, getting goals from Nathan Stehr, Ryder Farrell, Nathan Imes, Hunter Skrove and Brayden Streifel. Ty Hynes had three in an 8-3 win over the Calgary Sabrecats Saturday, then the Devils beat the Calgary Hornets 8-5 to close out the round robin.
Two Hat teams were in the 10-team novice division, but it was the Novice 2 team that came through with a gold medal finish.
The Devils 2’s swept through their division at the Leisure Centre, beating Swift Current 11-5, Moose Jaw 11-6 and Weyburn 7-3.
In the gold medal game they beat Red Deer’s Chiefs 11-6. Torren Zentner and Ilusha Khazov each had four goals, while Luke Richards, Nate Orr and Dane Friedt rounded out the offence. Dane Stiefel got the win in net.
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