Sports

Fraser Valley Phantom grounds Rockets for gold

Fraser Valley Phantom Simran Sidhu (right) checks Thompson-Okanagan Rockets’ Maggie Shykula-Ross  during game two of the best-of-three provincial championship series held at Sportsplex. The Phantom won the gold medal after a 6-1 win on Sunday in the third and deciding game of the series. - Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times
Fraser Valley Phantom Simran Sidhu (right) checks Thompson-Okanagan Rockets’ Maggie Shykula-Ross during game two of the best-of-three provincial championship series held at Sportsplex. The Phantom won the gold medal after a 6-1 win on Sunday in the third and deciding game of the series.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

The Fraser Valley Phantom are one step closer to a spot at the Canadian national championships.

The girls midget AAA hockey team captured the provincial championship on Sunday at the Walnut Grove Sportsplex, downing the visiting Thompson-Okanagan Rockets 6-1 in game three of the best-of-three playoff series.

The teams had split the first two games of the weekend series, with the Phantom winning 2-1 in overtime on Friday night before the Rockets stayed alive on Saturday afternoon thanks to a 4-3 victory.

“This year has kind of been a fairy tale year for us,” said Ray Werger, the Phantom general manager and president.

“The last couple of seasons, we went through rebuilding.”

The team is made up of midget hockey players from the Fraser Valley and parts of the Lower Mainland.

The Phantom finished atop the B.C. Female Midget AAA Hockey League with a 22-2-2 record.

They defeated the Prince George Cougars in the quarter-finals and the Kootenay Wildcats in the semifinal series to advance to face the Rockets.

Up next for the Phantom is a regional playoff series April 6-8 against the Edmonton Thunder, the Alberta champions. The winner advances to the Canadian national championships in Prince Edward Island.

The Phantom will be hosting the best-of-three series against the Thunder at the Surrey Sports and Leisure Complex on April 6-8. Game times are

6 p.m., 1:15 p.m.  and if necessary, 10:30 a.m.

The teams played earlier this year at a tournament, with the Thunder prevailing.

“We lost, but we were definitely competitive,” Werger said.

“It will be tough, the prairie teams are always tough.”

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