The home teams are off and running at South Delta Minor Hockey’s 28th annual Tim Jardine U15/U18 Showcase, taking place this weekend at the Ladner Leisure Centre and the South Delta Recreation Centre.
The U15 South Delta A1 Storm opened play Thursday morning with a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Thunderbirds as they work their way through the round-robin portion of the tournament, looking to secure a favourable seed for Saturday’s quarter-finals. The semi-finals will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday while the title game goes at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in Ladner.
The North Zone Kings, Kamloops, Vancouver Minor, Okanagan Hockey Academy, North Delta and Chilliwack round out the entries in the U15 division.
Meanwhile, the U18 A1 Storm jumped out to big second period lead, but needed to hang on for a 6-5 win over Edmonton in their round-robin opener on Thursday.
South Delta seemed to be on its way to an easy victory when the Alberta visitors scored three unanswered goals in the final period and buzzed for the equalizer in the dying seconds.
“I think we took advantage of their sloppy play then we got sloppy at the end,” said Storm head coach Ken Priestlay. “It’s like we thought they are not really in this game and we just started to cruise around. Next thing you know they’ve got four goals.”
The Storm were slated to take on Campbell River tonight and conclude round-robin Friday (5:45 p.m.) against the North Zone (Vernon) Kings. Playoffs start Saturday afternoon and wrap-up with the gold medal game at 4 p.m. on Sunday in Ladner.
Priestlay has a handful of players back from last year’s squad that produced a rare provincial title for the association. The Storm will once again be competing in Pacific Coast Amateur’s top flight when they begin their regular season next week.
“We’ve got some new younger guys who haven’t played at this level before. I think it’s taken them a while to get accustomed to the level of play and the intensity. If you make a mistake at this flight one level, teams will take advantage of it. So far it’s been good and we will see what happens with this tournament,” added Priestlay.
Other entries in the U18 Division include Burnaby Bulldogs, Victoria Admirals, Okanagan Minor and the Langley Eagles.