Watching his team grow from the season’s start was a sight to behold.
“It was pretty remarkable to see them from the beginning (of the season) to the end,” said Langley Hitmen coach John Campbell. “They played as a team and kept working hard.
“The kids just brought it altogether.”
The team’s season-long effort was rewarded on Sunday morning when they won the atom Langley Cup championship, defeating the Langley Blackhawks 5-3 at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
The Cup title goes along nicely with the three tournament victories the team already had, plus the league banner.
At the start of the season, Campbell said he would not have expected so much success.
But the team, which featured three players completely new to ice hockey, bought into what the coaching staff preached, which was teamwork and passing. And both were on display all season as the Hitmen boasted scoring depth throughout the lineup, instead of having just one scoring line.
The team actually got off to a bad start in the Cup playoffs, losing their opener, 4-3 to the Langley Warriors. Knowing that one more loss would end their chances, the team rattled off four straight victories — 8-3 over the Hurricanes, 3-0 against the Thunder, 5-1 over the Warriors, and 6-0 against the Thunderhawks — to advance to Sunday’s final against the Blackhawks.
The final was a hard-checking game, and after some back and forth play, Trevor Alcos opening the scoring for the Hitmen.
Cormick Cambell and Trei Lindstrom put the team up 3-0, and after the Blackhawks got on the board, Joey Yeomans made it 4-1.
But with less than two minutes remaining, the Blackhawks went on the power play and then pulled their goalie for the two-man advantage. They scored two quick goals to make it 4-3, but Michael Fleugel scored into the empty net for the 5-3 final score.
As was the case all tournament long, the Hitmen went with shared goaltending duties, as both Nicolas Corrazin and Bryan Keffer played 30 minutes apiece.
The Hitmen are: Nicolas Corrazin, Bryan Keefer, Aneal Shoker, Ishaan Gosal, Michael Fleugel, Robert McIver, Callum Barker, Christopher Jang, Colton McDonald, Cormick Campbell, Dawson Jeske, Joseph Yeomans, Matthew Moretti, Quinten Bryan, Simon Craske, Trei Lindstrom and Trevor Alcos.
Coaches are John Campbell, John Yeomans, Mike Alcos.
Managers are Tracie McIver and Bob Barker is the Hockey Canada Safety Program volunteer.