PHOTO: RBC Cup Twitter/Hockey Canada
The tradition of championships continued on Sunday for the Okanagan Rockets program as alumni Kristian Blumenschein, Brett Mennear and their West Kelowna Warriors were crowned National Junior ‘A’ Champions.
The Warriors made history in their first ever RBC Cup appearance that took place in Lloydminster, Alberta. After capturing the Western Canada Cup with a lopsided 6-0 win over the Brooks Bandits in the championship game that was held in Estevan, Saskatchewan, West Kelowna embarked for their first ever taste at the RBC Cup tournament.
West-K opened the tournament with a win over the host Lloydminster Bobcats before suffering a defeat to the familiar faces in the likes of the Brooks Bandits. The Warriors would finish the preliminary round with a pair of victories, the first coming in a shootout, the first in RBC Cup history, over the OJHL champion Trenton Golden Hawks while finishing the round robin with a victory over the CCHL champion Carlton Place Canadians.
Semi-final Saturday saw the Warriors take on the Bandits yet again, for the fourth time in just about three weeks, where West Kelowna prevailed in a penalty-filled game by a 4-1 score to advance to the national championship game. The Warriors took on the host Bobcats and took the lead in the first period thanks to Mennear’s right circle shot that created a rebound for Jonathan Desbiens. That goal at 5:21 of the opening frame would be more than enough in a 4-0 shutout win and an RBC Cup that will head to West Kelowna.
Both Mennear and Blumenschein played integral parts in the Warriors championship run as both finished with four points in the six RBC Cup games. Brett scored once, in the 4-3 SO win over Trenton, and added three assists while Blumschein ended the tournament with four helpers.
The Rockets want to congratulate Brett, Kristian and the whole Warriors team, staff and fans on the huge accomplishment!