CALGARY – After shutting out Team Manitoba 3-0 for the second straight game, Team Alberta successfully defended its gold medal at the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup on Sunday afternoon.
It didn't take long for Team Alberta to strike, with goals from Sean Comrie and Ryley Appelt just over a minute apart to take a 2-0 lead partway through the first.
Both teams were held off the score sheet through the second period, and most of the third, until Eric Florchuk scored with Manitoba's net empty in favour of an extra skater.
Florchuk finished the tournament with three goals, tied for the team lead with Chase Wouters.
In his second start of the tournament, goalie Carl Stankowski stood tall for team Alberta, stopping all 27 shots he faced, and earning Player of the Game honours for his troubles.
Dawson Barteaux earned the nod as the Player of the Game for silver medal-winning Team Manitoba.
“As a staff, we are extremely proud of this particular group,” said Head Coach Bobby Fox (Okotoks Oilers). “They played the game the right way. There was a ton of heart-power in that locker room, and we expect these players to make a significant impact with their respective club teams this year and moving forward in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence.”
Alberta and Manitoba previously clashed Friday night, also a 3-0 win for Team Alberta that saw Team Manitoba register just eight shots on goal.
Undefeated in round-robin play, Alberta advanced directly to Sunday's gold medal game, while Manitoba earned its spot after beating second place BC on Saturday.
It's the fourth gold medal for Alberta in the tournament's five-year history, and its second in a row, the previous coming in 2013.
Earlier on Sunday, Team BC defeated Team Saskatchewan 7-2 in the tournament's bronze medal game.