The Williams Lake Bantam Rep Timberwolves finished their home tournament on a solid note Sunday, capturing fifth place with a win over the Prince Rupert Seawolves.
Williams Lake stormed out of the gates early in the first period to a commanding 6-0 lead, and wound up coasting to an 11-3 victory.
The win came after losing its opener, 5-4, to the same Seawolves squad Friday night at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex — a game that, with a win, would have left Williams Lake in a spot to contest for a gold, or a bronze, at its nine-team tournament after finishing with one win and two losses in round robin play.
After losing its opener, the T-wolves lost a tough battle with Edmonton, 8-4, before shutting out Penticton, 5-0.
“It was a good way to end it,” said T-wolves head coach Shawn Oviatt following the team’s final game.
“Especially after yesterday’s tough loss to Edmonton. We outplayed them but the bounces didn’t go our way. Friday, we just came out flat. They [Rupert] were up 5-0 then we came back to 5-4. We had a hard push at the end but just couldn’t get the tying goal and, ultimately, that was the difference between us being in the semifinal today [Sunday].”
Oviatt said the team has showed steady improvement throughout the season, and thought the last three games the team played this past weekend were its best to date.
“We just played solid hockey — the whole group,” he said.
Williams Lake is now preparing for playoffs Feb. 22-23 where they hold home-ice advantage in what will be a best-of-three series against Prince George.
A win at zone playoffs would secure the T-wolves a berth at provincials — this year being held in Nanaimo in March.
“This group, none of them have been to provs before so we’re really pushing to get that opportunity for them,” Oviatt said. “It should be a great experience for the kids.”
Other teams in the tournament were Quesnel, Prince George, Kelowna, Penticton, Fort St. John, Terrace and Edmonton.