The Nelson Bantam Reps came away with their first tournament title of the season this past weekend in Osoyoos after a thrilling 4-3 gold medal game against Surrey’s Semiahmoo.
“Semiahmoo had the size and they were definitely a more physical team,” said Nelson captain Nolan Percival.
“Our team showed a lot of skill and determination and everyone on the team contributed by playing their positions and giving 100 per cent.”
The bantams had a relatively easy time making it to the finals with three one-sided wins.
In the tournament’s first game against Penticton it was Percival who got his team on the board under a minute into the game.
Nelson didn’t let their foot off the gas for the rest of game, scoring six more times with markers by Jayden Maida (2), Sawyer Hunt, Jacob Shukin, Matthew Brind’Amour and Aigne McGeady-Bruce. Greg Markholm was between the pipes in the 7-2 victory.
Nelson followed up the first win by disposing of Mission 5-1 and Abbotsford 7-0 which paved the locals way to the final against Semiahmoo.
Unlike their first three competitors, the Surrey squad was not going to surrender easily.
Semiahmoo scored early in the game with Nelson answering late in the first period with a goal by Hunt. Nelson took a 2-1 edge into the dressing room when defenseman Austin Tambellini scored.
Semiahmoo tied the game early in the second period, but shortly after Tambellini restored the lead.
In the third period Hunt gave his team a 4-2 lead with his second of the game.
Midway through the final period Semiahmoo closed the gap, but first year rep goalie Jesse Beauvais made some stellar saves the final 10 minutes of the game that turned into an intense battle.
In West Kootenay league play, the Nelson team has come out strong with a 3-0 record so far.