For the second time in three years, the Whitby Warriors have captured the Minto Cup championship. Although the Warriors had to battle back in game four against the host New Westminster Salmonbellies to clinch the final game in overtime, Whitby was dominant throughout the Minto Cup action, as the Warriors outscored their opponents 87-43 in seven games.
The top five scorers in the tournament were all from Whitby which included Dan Litner (31), Reilly O’Connor (27), Mike MacDonald (25), Curtis Knight (25) and Ryan Keenan (25). Litner racked up a tournament high 16 goals and 15 assists for 31 points. The Whitby sniper’s performance was good enough to be named Minto Cup Most Valuable Player and finish 10th all-time in Minto Cup goals with 37.
Leading the way for the Salmonbellies was New Westminster native Anthony Malcolm. The Mars Hill College Lion found the back of the cage six times while adding an impressive 18 assists for 24 points. Just behind Malcolm was Josh Byrne and Eli McLaughlin who each tallied 23 points.
Whitby’s veteran netminder Alexis Buque was outstanding between the pipes throughout the tournament as he lead all goalies in goals against average (5.96), save percentage (.868) and total saves (277).
The Warriors graduate a strong core of players in Litner, Knight, Buque, Graeme Hossack, Chad Tutton, Stefan Diachenko and Mitch De Snoo. Despite losing many key players next year, the Warriors will be confident in their quest to be crowned Minto Cup champions for the third time in four years.