For the first time since the tournament started in 2009, Saskatchewan’s provincial under-16 team are the winners of the WHL Cup.
After going 0-3 in round-robin play, Saskatchewan completed a stunning run to the gold medal on Sunday in Calgary as they picked up a 4-2 victory over Manitoba in the championship game at the Markin MacPhail Centre.
“Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now,” Saskatchewan goaltender and Kamloops Blazers prospect Dylan Ernst said to the WHL’s Lauren Zandee after the game.
“We came into this tournament as underdogs and we took home the championship.”
Edmonton Oil Kings draft pick Kylynn Olafson and Blazers prospect Tye Spencer had a goal and an assist to lead the way for Saskatchewan, who featured Raiders prospect and Prince Albert Mintos blueliner Tre Fouquette on their roster.
Manitoba, who had Raiders draft pick Bryce Warkentine in their forward core, got their goals from Winnipeg Ice prospect Conor Geekie and Brandon Wheat Kings prospect Tyson Zimmer.
Meanwhile, British Columbia rallied from a 4-2 deficit with less than 90 seconds to go in the bronze medal game as Red Deer Rebels prospect Jace Weir scored in overtime to give his province a 5-4 win over Alberta.
Blazers prospect Mats Lindgren had three assists for a British Columbia side that included Raiders first round selection Niall Crocker.
Prince George Cougars draft pick Jaren Brinson dished out a pair of helpers for Alberta, who got a goal from Raiders second round draft choice Graydon Gotaas
Gotaas was also named to the tournament’s all-star team, where he was joined by Moose Jaw Warriors prospect Denton Mateychuk of Manitoba.
British Columbia forward and Victoria Royals prospect Brayden Schuurman led the tournament in scoring with nine points in five games.