Rope Rippers, Wheat Kings take WLMHA midget and bantam division championships

The Williams Lake Rope Rippers knocked off the Williams Lake Goon Squad 5-3 in the championship to win the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association’s Midget House division Sunday. Pictured are assistant coach Kevin Sytsma (back from left), head coach Corwin Smid, Sam Fait, Ruan Koster, Adam Sytsma, Ben Bergmann, Gavin McKimm, Hailey Kitsul, Nathan Cisecki, assistant coach Taylor Callens, assistant coach Brady Smid, Nathan Kendrick (front from left), Ethan Smid, goaltender Carson Fisher, Landon Billyboy, Johnny Hance, Tianna Gilbert and Kristyna Stanislaus. Not pictured is Keira Mack. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
The Williams Lake Bantam Wheat Kings head coach Jake Hilton (back from left), Yellicyia Elkins, Gage Davis, Kai Hilton, Riley Charleyboy, Michael Harvey, assistant coach Chris Erlandson, Gage Harry (middle row from left), Curtis Williams, Dallas Moe, Joe Henley, Hayden French, Ethan Prest and Timu Kruus, assistant coach Roland Henley (front from left) and goaltender Luke Erlandson were crowned WLMHA bantam division champions after winning 9-0 over the 100 Mile Bantam Wranglers Sunday. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune
Williams Lake Rope Rippers’ Ruan Koster looks to get around Goon Squad player Brock Everett Sunday during the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association Midget House final. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Nathan Kendrick of the Rope Rippers works against Goon Squad’s Brock Everett. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Rope Rippers Landon Billyboy skates into the offensive zone. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Rope Rippers Adam Sytsma goes up against Goon Squad player Karlee Messer-Todd. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Evan Berkelaar of the Goon Squad (left) battles with Ben Bergmann of the Rope Rippers. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Ethan Smid of the Roper Rippers throws a backhand on Goon Squad goalie Logan Rhodes. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Gavin McKimm (left) and Nathan Kendrick (right) of the Rope Rippers look to stop the Goon Squad’s Landon Kielpinski. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Brock Everett of the Goon Squad works along the boards against the Rope Rippres’ Tianna Gilbert. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Karlee Messer-Todd of the Goon Squad (left) and Tianna Gilbert of the Rope Rippers. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Ruan Koster gets stopped by Goon Squad goalie Logan Rhodes. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sam Fait looks to slip one past Goon Squad netminder Logan Rhodes Sunday in the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association Midget House Division Final. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Sam Fait looks to slip one past Goon Squad netminder Logan Rhodes Sunday in the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association Midget House Division Final. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

It was a bittersweet victory for the Williams Lake Rope Rippers when they captured the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association midget house division championship Sunday.

On one hand the team was crowned league champions while, at the same time, players were also bidding farewell to their minor hockey careers as they skated in their final game alongside friends, peers, coaches and mentors they’d been playing with since they were young children.

In the championship taking on the Yellow Goon Squad, the Rope Rippers fell behind early 2-0 following goals from the Goon Squad’s Owen Kielpinski and Landon Kielpinski, however, the Rope Rippers notched a late first period goal off the stick of Adam Systma to narrow the gap to 2-1.

Seconds later, however, the Goon Squad extended its lead to 3-1 as Owen tallied his second of the game to send his team up 3-1 heading into the second.

READ MORE: Jeff Alexander Memorial Midget Tournament a fun, competitive weekend for lakecity youth

From there, it was all Rope Rippers, as the team rattled off four unanswered goals to extend its lead to 5-3, which held up as the final score through a scoreless third period.

Lighting the lamp in the second for the Rope Rippers was Ethan Smid, with a hat trick, with Ruan Koster adding a single in the win.

Third place in the midget house division went to the Grey Grizzlies, who defeated the 100 Mile Midget Wranglers in a spirited, physical affair between the two sides.

Also playing in their final games of the season, players from the Williams Lake Wheat Kings and 100 Mile House Bantam Wranglers in the WLMHA’s bantam house division squared off in their respective final.

In what turned out to be a one-sided victory, the Wheat Kings cruised to a 9-0 win and the championship.

Kai Hilton found the twine five times, while Ethan Prest scored twice for the Wheat Kings. Adding singles were Hayden French and Michael Harvey.

READ MORE: Players recognized for commitment, achievements in minor hockey at awards banquets

WLMHA house divisions are now in the midst of hosting their year-end banquets this week at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus where divisional awards, along with WLMHA division-wide awards, will be presented.

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