After making a deep run at the 28th annual Tim Jardine Showcase on home ice, the U18 A1 South Delta Storm will turn their attention to recognizing their memorable run last spring.
The Storm will officially unveil their provincial championship banner in a special ceremony at 9 p.m., just prior to their Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association regular season home opener against Mission on Friday at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The special week in Campbell River back in March was capped by a dramatic 3-2 double overtime win over Hollyburn in B.C. Amateur Hockey’s tier two provincial title game. It was the first time a team from the South Delta Minor Hockey Association has won a B.C. championship in 15 years.
The team worked with the City of Delta to ensure the banner will be displayed in a prominent location in the arena.
“We won a provincial (title) last year and it doesn’t happen here very often,” said Storm head coach and former NHLer Ken Priestlay. “It’s something we need to make sure South Delta knows about and you celebrate it by bringing back the graduated players as well. I’m not sure exactly what is planned but know it’s going to be a special night.”
Priestlay has seven players back from last year’s championship team. The Storm secured their spot in the PCAHA’s top flight once again thanks to a solid 4-1-3 record in placement play over the past month.
A bid to reach the U18 gold medal game at the Jardine Showcase ended with a 4-2 semi-final loss to the Victoria Admirals on Saturday night. South Delta had earlier rolled off four straight wins over Edmonton (6-5), Campbell River (7-4), Burnaby Minor (7-3) and Langley (7-0) in the quarter-finals.
“It was one of those years where we wanted to make sure we brought in a lot of out-of-town teams that we normally don’t see all the time,” Priestlay continued. “There’s actually a couple we invited because we saw them at provincials. Our parents did an incredible job putting this tournament together.”
Okanagan went on to capture the U18 title with a 3-2 win over Victoria in the final. The Vernon-based North Zone Kings earned U15 honours with a 5-2 victory against the Okanagan Hockey Academy.
The U15 Storm bowed out of championship contention with a 5-4 loss to Vancouver Minor in Saturday’s quarter-final round.
The U18 game is part of the usual SDMHA Friday night tripleheader that also features the U13 A1 and U15 A1 Storm rep teams in action at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively. For all three games there will be 50/50 draws with proceeds going to Deltassist.