The North Shore Winter Club Midget A1 hockey team claimed gold at the prestigious Cactus Cup International Tournament held over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in Phoenix, Ariz.
The Winterhawks were in seventh place following the qualifying round but went on an epic run in the playoffs, starting with a win over second-seeded Bakersfield in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals the Winter Club knocked off the California Wave in a game that was decided in three-on-three overtime play.
The final was against a familiar foe: the Semiahmoo Midget A1 team from White Rock. Semiahmoo jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Winterhawks clawed back to score a 3-2 win.
It was a strong showing for the Winterhawks who played six games in four days, including five matchups against teams from California. The Winter Club team, coached by Jason Krog and Darcy Zajac, featured players born in 2001-2003, while many of the other teams were made up of older players born in 2000-2001.