It couldn’t have ended a better way.
With 1:51 left in overtime, the Williams Lake Midget Female Timberwolves made history Sunday night in the lakecity as 100 Mile House’s Anya Levermann lit the lamp on a breakaway to give the T-wolves a 4-3 overtime victory over the Tri Cities Predators of the Lower Mainland in the gold-medal game of the BC Midget Female Provincial Championships.
The game winner sent the 750-plus in attendance bananas, while tears of joy from the Timberwolves flooded the ice in rink one at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex as they became the first female hockey team from Williams Lake to claim a provincial championship banner.
“Our motto heading in was — whoever works the hardest, whoever works the longest,” Timberwolves head coach Roy Call said following the win. “Just an outstanding game. We started this Aug. 25, we finished March 25, and I’m just so proud of the kids. It’s been a great group, and it’s been a pleasure.”
Levermann’s breakaway winner saw her pounce on a loose puck near centre ice and fly past the Predators’ defenders for a clear path to the net as she made no mistake burying the gold-medal goal.
“I’m just really, really excited,” Levermann said. “It’s my last year, so it’s a good way to end it.
“I wasn’t thinking about anything really [when I got the puck]. Just to score.”
Timberwolves captain Kassidy Herrick said she was overwhelmed and grateful for all the support the team received from the community during the five-day tournament in Williams Lake that saw seven teams compete for the provincial championship banner.
“This is one of the best feelings ever,” Herrick said. “I’m so proud of my team and you couldn’t end this year any better.”
In the contest, Williams Lake jumped out to an early 1-0 lead six-and-a-half minutes into the first period on a goal from Sara Vermeulen, before the Predators evened it up at 1-1 to end the frame.
After two, the game finished 3-2 in Williams Lake’s favour as Emma Roorda found the twine for the T-wolves and Vermeulen tallied her second of the night.
The Predators, however, would tie it up at 3-3 just five minutes into the third, forcing the overtime frame, and the Levermann heroics that were to follow.
“We just can’t thank the community enough,” Call said. “From everything it’s been through, the wildfires, just an unbelievable effort by the whole town, and what a great year.
“I just can’t say enough.”
Williams Lake picked up wins in the round robin portion of the tournament over Kamloops (2-0), North East (7-2), South Island (6-2), and the Northern Eagles (4-0), and also tied North Shore (1-1).
Its only loss came against the Predators on opening night, March 21, in a 3-0 defeat.
The provincial championship win is the first for a Williams Lake team since Carey Price and his Williams Lake Midget Timberwolves squad claimed the banner in 2003.