Members of the Pembina Valley Hawks AAA bantam boys hockey team hope to soar to new heights at the Western Canadian Bantam Hockey Championship.
The Hawks swept the Winnipeg Warriors with back-to-back wins in their best-of-three provincial championship, which concluded March 24.
The series win earned them a berth in the western championship, which began April 5 in Stony Plain, Alta. and will conclude this Sunday.
The Hawks dominated the Warriors in the opening game of the provincial final with a decisive 6-0 victory. They followed it up with a convincing 5-2 victory in Game 2.
Those results were in stark contrast to the hard-fought 6-4 win they scored over the Brandon Wheat Kings a week earlier to claim the AAA rural championship.
"The (provincial) final win against the Warriors was somewhat anticlimactic for us, because the toughest challenge for us was defeating the Brandon Wheat Kings in the rural finals because they have a heck of a team," said Hawks coach Mike Bellisle.
With two titles already to their credit this season, the Hawks are looking to continue their momentum at westerns, Bellisle said.
"There are going to be some really strong teams out there and this is a new experience for our team," he said.
"We don’t have any feel for what is coming, but by the sounds of it B.C. is going to be the powerhouse going in and we are expecting to meet them in the finals."
Hawks forward Liam MacLeod, 14, who hails from La Salle, said he is confident about their team’s chances in Alberta.
"It is going to be an amazing experience and I know we have a good team so I think we have a pretty good chance to make it to the finals," he said. "But anything can happen out there, so we just need to work hard and focus on the game."