The Lakeland College Bantam Tigers hosted the 2019 Bantam B Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships in Vermilion from March 14 – 17.
Ten teams lined the ice, as dignitaries entered the Opening Ceremonies on March 15. Fans from all over the province attended and cheered as their teams played against the best Bantam players. Presented by ATB Financial, the Championships created a lot of excitement around Vermilion. Representatives from the Edmonton Oilers, ATB Financial, Hockey Alberta, the Town of Vermilion, and Vermilion Minor Hockey shared encouraging words throughout the weekend.
“This is such an achievement; be proud of yourselves. Take a look around, you will cherish these memories for years to come,” said emcee Karen Selte, Vermilion Minor Hockey vice president.
Hockey Alberta’s Dale Scott thanked the committee volunteers for making the provincial championships a memorable experience for the participants, family members for supporting the athletes, and the players for working so hard. Mayor Caroline McAuley welcomed and thanked everyone for coming to Vermilion and noted that children who play team sports become amazing citizens.
The Grandfather of Humboldt Broncos accident survivor Layne Matechuk and retired RCMP officer, George Matechuk; along with pillar of the community and past senior hockey player, John Stewart, participated in the official puck drop.
Vermilion played their first game against the Southwest Oil Kings, winning 7 – 2. They won their second game against the Provost Blades 4 – 3, and their third game against the St. Albert Jets 9 – 5. They won their fourth game against the Pincher Creek Huskies 3 – 2. In their semi-final game, they lost to Drumheller 5 – 4; Drumheller went on to win the Bantam B Provincial Championship.
Vermilion’s Brennyn McDonald had 16 points during provincials. Overall, players and guests could be seen smiling as the crowd roared with enthusiasm during the 2019 Bantam B Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships.