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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Abbotsford looks to be a power-house next season

In one of our many features leading up to the 2010-2011 season, we look at why the Abbotsford Bantam A1 Hawks will challenge for the PCAHA title next season.

Last season, the Abbotsford Hawks were a very average team in the A1-T1 or otherwise known as the top bantam league in BC. They were 8-8-2 in league play, scored 53, allowed 56...very average. However, it should be noted that the team was led by 8 rookies, which was half of the team essentially. Of those 8 rookies, Francis Bamford, Jake Virtanen, Mitch Skapski all play forward and Kyle Baron on defence were all key players as first year kids for the team. Add in Matthew Painchaud who is coming over and it is apparent that Abbotsford will challenge the big boys- North Shore and BWC for the PCAHA A1-TI title next season.


Roman said...
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Next Level Prospects said...

Although these kids are decent players, they struggled against the Saskatchewan Huskies in the Challenge Cup in the B-Final. I believe that the BC players are somewhat over-rated when compared to Alberta and even Saskatchewan players. This is somewhat political in its history and may be population driven. The Alberta players tend to be rated correctly while the Saskatchewan players are under-rated. Abbotsford may be a powerhouse in their BC league but I will be surprised if they are in the Western Canadian Bantam Championships.

Hockey said...

The BC boys sure didn't struggle on Thursday against the Huskies. Abbotsford will be without a doubt the team to beat in BC next year. And the only team that has a chance of beating Abbotsford will be Seafir, lead by top prospect Tyler Sandhu. However, there's not a single team in BC that even comes close to having as much depth and skill as Abbotsford, especially up front. Francis Bamford, Mitchell Skapski, Matthew Painchaud, and Jake Virtanen will have to carry the team up front, while Kyle Baron will have to do the same back on D. Ryan Simpson, who recently moved to Abby from Semiahmoo will make a great addition, adding some size and toughness back on D. They're going to be a fun team to watch! I will be surprised if I don't see them in the Westerns.

Next Level Prospects said...

No BC sure didn't struggle against Huskies in Winnipeg. But the Huskies couldn't stay out of the box during that game and had sub-par goaltending. That's hockey for you. But the bottom line is that the selects/abbotsford have not beat any high level teams in AAA hockey this summer. Flames, Blades etc. Since players from these other teams play on winter teams in Alberta and Saskatchewan I think its far to early to be predicting Western Championship results. As well, if the rest of BC is weak,it's not going to be great for the Abbotsfords kids development in a crucial developmental year.