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Sports archive for January 10, 2013

Johnson’s four hat tricks propel Bantam Mustangs to gold

Levi Johnson scored 12 goals, and the Bantam A Mustangs rode his hot stick to a gold medal in Port Alberni, B.C., last weekend.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

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CHAMPIONS AGAIN – Members of the Bantam A Mustangs celebrate their tournament victory in Port Alberni, B.C., Sunday. Whitehorse beat the Kerry Park Islanders of Victoria, B.C., 7-4 in the championship final. Left: LEVI JOHNSON. Photos by Kandice Braga

Levi Johnson scored 12 goals, and the Bantam A Mustangs rode his hot stick to a gold medal in Port Alberni, B.C., last weekend.

The Mustangs beat the Kerry Park Islanders 7-4 in the final Sunday to win their second straight championship in Outside tournaments.

In November, the Whitehorse club took home gold from a tournament in Winfield, B.C.

“It was pretty gratifying,” coach Barry Blisner said of the latest victory. “Usually there’s five or six guys we rely on pretty heavily, but a lot more of the first-year guys showed they are starting to get used to the speed and physicality at this tournament.

“Hopefully this sets the tone for the rest of the way, and provincials.”

The Mustangs avenged their round robin loss to Kerry Park in the final Sunday afternoon.

Blisner said the game changed when an Islanders player ran Mustangs goalie Josh Tetlichi with a “real cheap shot.”

A five-minute major penalty was assessed to Kerry Park, who was leading 1-0 at the time.

Twelve seconds into the major, Johnson buried his 10th of the tournament, and the Mustangs dominated the rest of the way.

“We didn’t score again on the powerplay, but from there on in, we took the game over,” Blisner said. “The guys were pretty upset.”

Johnson, 14, went on to net his fourth hat trick in four games as Whitehorse romped to victory.

“Let’s face it, when we want a goal, we stick him in front,” said Blisner. “He’s the guy.”

Nick Dobush and Caleb Marsh each added a goal and an assist, while Chance Goodman and Gavin Lawrie chipped in singles. Riley Smoler and Jack Blisner each added three assists.

Following their championship win, the team was treated to whatever they wanted to eat at McDonalds.

The Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association’s annual Bantam Rep hockey tournament saw a mix of Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams.

Blisner was happy to see his Tier 3 squad prove to be the strongest team in the tournament.

“It’s sort of hard to tell, but we’re always building towards provincials,” he explained.

The Mustangs spent five days in Port Alberni, and were even able to sneak in an exhibition match with the host team on the eve of the tournament Thursday.

The two clubs tied 5-5, but Blisner said his club was able to use that game to find their legs.

The Mustangs opened their tournament Friday afternoon with a game against Kerry Park, losing it 4-3.

Goals came from Dobush, Smoler and Goodman.

“We didn’t play that well,” Blisner said. “(Goaltender) Devon Troke held us in there.”

Johnson came alive in the Mustangs second game Saturday morning versus the host Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Johnson netted his first of four hat tricks, Smoler picked up a pair, and Goodman and Jack Blisner each scored a goal and an assist in a 7-2 blowout.

“That was probably our best game of the tournament,” coach Blisner said.

That night, another three-goal game from Johnson, and one-goal efforts from Dobush and Goodman helped Whitehorse topple the North Vancouver Storm 5-1 en route to a first-place round robin finish based on goal differential.

Sunday morning’s semifinal matchup saw Whitehorse oust the Oceanside Generals 7-1 to set up the championship final.

Johnson scored three, and Marsh, Goodman, Logan and Smoler added singles in the win.

Three players missed the final due to injury – Ben McClelland, Ryan Troke and Matt Butler.

The Mustangs next out-of-town action will be in Dawson Creek, B.C., next month, where a three-team friendly tournament will be played between Whitehorse, Fort St. John, and the host team.

CommentsAdd a comment

Kay Hyndman

Jan 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Way to go Levi, I bet your Dad has split the buttons on his shirt, so proud, I know Grandpa Jerry is proud. Keep up the good work. Kay

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