Nobody can say the Santorini’s Bantam House Jets aren’t gracious hosts.
The Summerland hockey team battled bravely in their home tournament on Nov 18 to 20 but each time came up short against more measured and experienced opponents.
In the round-robin, Jets snipers Cawston Tower and Coby Blystone both found the back of the net in a 5-2 defeat to the Kelowna Leafs. After that, the team struggled to find their offensive rhythm.
They were shut out 7-0 against the Kamloops All Blacks and then again 5-0 against a team of freight trains called the Langley Ice Dawgs.
Langley blasted 40 shots at Jets goalie Pierre Holmes, including a penalty shot that went high top shelf.
The game also featured a lot of mucking in the corners and scuffling in front of the net.
The referee called a total of 52 minutes in penalties — 40 of them against Langley, including a couple 10-minute misconducts..
The Ice Dawgs bulldozed their way into the final before succumbing 9-6 in the championship game to the Vernon Velocity, who did the Okanagan proud by going the entire tournament undefeated.
The All Blacks were awarded most sportsmanlike team for making fewer trips to the penalty box in the entire tournament than some other teams made in a single game.
The Santorini’s Jets may have been out-scored, out-shot and out-muscled, but they were not out-classed.
Of the tournament’s eight teams, the Jets iced the side with the most female players, the most players just starting out in hockey, the most under-age players called up from peewee, and the one with the fewest second-year Bantams.
The Jets didn’t get the big breaks during the tournament but it was a character-building experience.
Santorini’s Bantam House Jets include Taylor Arkesteyn, Spencer Boerboom, Coby Blystone, Jacob Cerutti, Dawson Doherty, Patricia Gove, Katie Grant, Pierre Holmes, Nolan Keilty, Spencer McIntosh, Ali Parker, Geoffrey Stathers, Cawston Tower, Kyle Walker, Karter Wilms, Brett Wilson and Sean Wilson.
Nester’s Market, Santorini’s Restaurant, Johnston Meier Insurance and McDonald’s sponsored the tournament.