Tara Sprickerhoff photo                                Williams Lake Peewee Timberwolves player Jackson Altwasser battles for possession along the boards Saturday in the lakecity during game two of a round-one, best-of-three playoff series with the Quesnel Thunder. Altwasser would turn out to play the role of hero on Sunday, scoring in overtime in Quesnel to give the Timberwolves a 4-3 win in game three of the series.

Tara Sprickerhoff photo Williams Lake Peewee Timberwolves player Jackson Altwasser battles for possession along the boards Saturday in the lakecity during game two of a round-one, best-of-three playoff series with the Quesnel Thunder. Altwasser would turn out to play the role of hero on Sunday, scoring in overtime in Quesnel to give the Timberwolves a 4-3 win in game three of the series.

Peewee, bantam T-wolves advance to zone playoff finals

After a gruelling weekend of first-round playoff games, two Williams Lake rep hockey teams are advancing to their respective divisions’ finals.

For another local team, its season ended in heartbreak on the weekend.

Both the Williams Lake Bantam Timberwolves and the Williams Lake Peewee Timberwolves will showdown with Prince George this weekend for a chance to earn a berth at the BC Hockey Provincial Championships.

The Williams Lake Bantam Female Timberwolves, meanwhile, were defeated on the road by Prince George in two games during the weekend.

The Williams Lake Bantam Timberwolves swept the Quesnel Thunder Friday night and Saturday in the lakecity by scores of 3-2 and 5-1.

They’ll travel to Prince George this Saturday for a best-of-three series to determine the zone’s provincial berth.

“It was a good weekend,” said Bantam Timberwolves assistant coach Troy Weil. “The first game we were up 3-0 and they got a late one, but it was a good game. The second game we played really well, and our goaltending was great. It was a nice effort from our defence.”

On this weekend’s match-up with the Cougars, Weil expects close games. If game three is needed it goes in Williams Lake on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

“We’re pretty even, he said. “It should be a good series.”

The Peewee Timberwolves took three games in its series to outlast the Quesnel Thunder in thrilling fashion Sunday.

After losing game one 7-5 in Williams Lake Saturday, the Timberwolves answered back later in the day with a 9-3 victory sending the series back to Quesnel Sunday for the third and final match.

There, 30 seconds into overtime, Jackson Altwasser provided the heroics to lift Williams Lake to a 4-3 win.

“Quesnel came out to play and they worked hard the whole game,” said Peewee T-wolves head coach Ben Pierce. “They definitely pushed us to the best we needed to be, and it could have gone either way.”

Pierce said his team was up 3-1 in the second period, but gave up two goals to Quesnel in the third to tie it at 3-3 to force overtime.

“We stuck to our game plan,” he said. “Going into overtime, a lot of our players had never been in a game like that so the group was excited and nervous, but lucky for us overtime didn’t last too long.”

He said he was especially proud of the team’s leaders, second-year players and captains, who he said did a fantastic job in games two and three of leading the way and supporting teammates.

“That was a definite impact on our win,” he said. “I think we learned a lesson from game one where they beat us 7-5. We essentially didn’t show up to play the first half of that game, but we turned that around and were prepared to battle and do more of the little things we needed to do.

“Going into Prince George, it’s going to be a challenge. Prince George is a team that works hard every shift, and every game we need to be able to match their intensity and focus on the things that make us successful.”

If a game three is necessary, the series will shift back to Williams Lake for that game on Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

The Bantam Female Timberwolves, meanwhile, were beaten in two games by Prince George, however, head coach Steve O’Hara said he was extremely proud of his group of players and the effort they put forward.

“It was a tough weekend,” O’Hara said. “We were up against a good team, and we played well on the large ice [in Prince George] under the circumstances.”

O’Hara noted the team came a long way during the season learning individual skill and team play.

“We beat everyone in the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association except Vernon, even Prince George. We just couldn’t do it this weekend,” he said.

“But our season was great. Lots of compliments have been given about how the girls came together as a team from looking at them from the first time on the ice together at the icebreaker in Quesnel. We started with blowouts, then developed skills and team tactics and really came together as a team. The girls accelerated quickly on individual skill and team play throughout the year.”

Despite the loss, O’Hara said the future is bright for his young team, who will lose just two players to the midget age group next season.

“We had two girls from 100 Mile House, two are going up to midget and four peewees,” he said. “We should have a strong year-two bantam team and we’ll do well next year in OMAHA. I’m just really proud of the team and how far they’ve come.”

Also this weekend, after receiving a bye in round one, the Williams Lake Midget Timberwolves will square off in their second-round playoff match-up this weekend.

Game one goes in Williams Lake Friday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. Game two takes place Saturday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m.

The Williams Lake Midget Female Timberwolves are also waiting in the wings for their opponents as they prepare to host the championship this year in the lakecity.

That event takes place from March 21-25 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.