Bantam Timberwolves fall just short of provincial goal

“With an unhealthy roster we pushed hard but came up a little short of our season goal.”

It didn’t end the way the Williams Lake Bantam Timberwolves had hoped.

Holding home-ice advantage in a best-of-three series against the Prince George Bantam Cougars, Williams Lake fell twice at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Friday and Saturday — putting an end to its provinicial-championship aspirations.

Bantam Timberwolves head coach Shawn Oviatt said despite the losses, he couldn’t be more proud of his players.

“All in all the kids battled hard and I was proud that they did not quit and came back in both games,” Oviatt said.

“With an unhealthy roster we pushed hard but came up a little short of our season goal.”

Friday, Prince George came out of the gates flying, and Oviatt said his team simply didn’t have an answer early on.

“Our goalie held it close at 3-1 so we had a chance to claw back into the game,” he said.

READ MORE: Bantam T-wolves finish strong at home tournament

With seven minutes remaining the Timberwolves scored twice within 35 seconds to tie the contest at 3-3.

“We put pressure on Prince George until the last minute of play and we got caught and their best player went down one on one with our d-man and beat him, then put the game winner past our netminder,” Oviatt said. “We had multiple players fighting illnesses and just couldn’t find the energy to sustain it for a full 60 minutes.”

In the game, William Lake, and Prince George, lost two players for fighting, resulting in all four receiving game misconducts and a one-game suspension for the Saturday game.

Saturday, Oviatt said his squad had a far better start to the game, despite Prince George getting an early power play goal in the first period.

Williams Lake would tie the contest at one, but came unravelled for a five-minute stretch in the scond period to find itself down 4-1.

“We came out in the third period and put pressure on them, and with about seven minutes left in the game we ended up getting a four-minute power play and scored once on that, then again right after the penalty ended. With two minutes left we had it 4-3 and we pulled our goalie and pushed for the one more to tie it but they ended up getting an empty-net goal to make it 5-3.”

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Williams Lake Bantam T-wolves player Nathan Kendrick skates into his own end to corral the puck versus the Prince George Bantam Cougars Friday.

Williams Lake Bantam T-wolves forward Owen Kielpinski rips a shot on goal.

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