Rocky Mountain Classic showcases some of the best U15 teams in Western Canada
At the Rocky Mountain Classic, Calgary Edge School reigned supreme.
In what has become an impressive tournament in the greater Calgary area, the Rocky Mountain Classic brings together top U15 teams in the region. This major event featured the 2008 birth year, with several standouts from the weekend.
Twenty-four teams entered the fray at this year’s Rocky Mountain Classic, which took place at WinSport Arenas. The venue has served as a home of Team Canada, just outside of the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Three of the participating teams appeared on the most recent World Hockey Hub rankings for Canada. No. 2 Northern Alberta Xtreme, the aforementioned Calgary Edge School is No. 9 and RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna is No. 10 among 2008-born Canadian teams.
Additionally, other top-tier programs like the Okotoks Oilers, Airdrie Xtreme, Yale Lions, OHA Penticton and more makes Edge School’s feat that much more impressive.
Edge School’s Run To a U15 Tournament Championship
In a tournament that spanned Wednesday through Sunday, Edge wasn’t fazed by having two games on Day 1 – they won them both. First, they took down Okotoks 3-1 in the morning contest; that proved to be the only loss of the weekend for the Oilers. After that, Edge beat OHA Edmonton 4-2 later that day as well.
After dropping their first contest to Edge, Okotoks went on to win its next five games to emerge victorious in the B Championship game.
In their final game of the preliminary round, Edge School wrapped up a top spot in the playoff bracket with a 6-3 win over Red Deer Thursday afternoon. That earned them a quarterfinal date with OHA Pentiction. Edge recorded an 8-2 win, and the scoring spree continued into Saturday’s semifinal. There, the offense rolled past RINK Winnipeg 7-2.
In the final, Edge School ran into Airdrie Xtreme, which assembled quite the tournament resume, as well.
In their first four games, Airdrie allowed only one goal per game, beating RINK Winnipeg 3-1, Burnaby Winter Club 4-1, Valley West Giants 6-1 and St. Albert Sabres 3-1. While they didn’t hold their semifinal opponent to a single goal, they still found a way to win against the No. 2 ranked team in all of Canada, Northern Alberta Xtreme. In the battle of the Xtremes, it was Airdrie prevailing 6-5 in overtime after a wild, wild comeback. Trailing 5-1 in the third period, Riley Boychuk added his second, third and fourth goals of the game to lead a major comeback. After that, Aaron Sawatzky scored the decisive goal in overtime for Airdrie.
In the championship, it was Edge prevailing. The eventual champions built up a 5-2 lead heading into the third period, and Xtreme made another late-game push. It was Boychuk trying to play the superhero role in the final, too, as he scored the last two goals of the game to pull Airdrie within striking distance. However, it was too little too late as the score ended 6-4 in favor of Edge.
Players Riding High At The Rocky Mountain Classic
Cruz Pavao led Edge in scoring through the duration of the tournament. He registered seven goals and 14 points in six games. His teammate Landon Dupont also crossed into double digits; he recorded 10 points in the six contests.
Cole Prelusky recorded four of the six wins between the pipes for Edge. He finished with a 2.33 goals-against average and 91.9 save percentage.
The Rocky Mountain Classic website gives a great look at performances across the tournament. Above all, a pair of Calgary Bisons forwards in Cooper Williams and Rhys Jamieson led the field in scoring, both recording 15 points in six games. After that, Liam Ruck of OHA Penticton and Edge’s Pavao both had 14. Four players — Koy Funk of RINK Winnipeg, Brayden Ryan-Mackay of Yale, Markus Ruck of OHA Pentiction and Joe Iginla of RINK Kelowna — had 12 points apiece.
Carter Esler was the only other goalie to match Prelusky’s four-win total over the weekend. The Okotoks Oilers netminder turned in a 4-1-0 record with a 2.67 goals-against average and 93.4 save percentage. He challenged Prelusky for the unofficial title of ‘top goaltender’ at the tournament.
Calder Barry of RINK Kelowna registered a 3-0-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and 92.9 save percentage. Parker Snell of Northern Alberta Xtreme also had a 3-0-0 record as well with a 2.00 goals-against average and 91.5 save percentage.