Three Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association champions were crowned during the weekend as season-end playoffs put a wrap to the house division seasons in the lakecity.
In the peewee division final SpongeBob SquarePants took on Shreddies, the Broncos faced the Riverkings in the bantam division championship and the Jungle Team faced the Rope Rippers for the midget title — all taking place Sunday, March 10 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
WLMHA PEEWEE FINAL
Finding themselves down a goal after the first period, SpongeBob Squarepants’ captain Jared Telford evened the score in the second period.
Lucas Hjelden followed that up with the game winner to make it 2-1 for SBSP off a nice setup from Telford, who then added another goal in the third as an insurance marker, with the team playing a strong, defensive game for the remaining six minutes of the game to hold the lead.
“I was truly proud of the kids,” said SBSP head coach Adam Moreash. “They knew what they needed to do to secure a championship. It was amazing to see them work the systems that we have been practicing all year long. Every player has greatly improved since the beginning of the season, and it clearly showed in the playoffs.”
Moreash credited Shreddies for their strong play, and noted their regular-season turnaround was remarkable.
“They picked it up and became this very well-rounded team,” he said. “They made it to the final and we realized this was going to be a really tough team.”
WLMHA BANTAM FINAL
Sunday, March 10, saw the Williams Lake Green Broncos and the Williams Lake Blue Riverkings square off for the WLMHA Bantam Division title.
And there, the Broncos poured on the offence in the third period to claim a 13-7 victory and the league title.
Scoring for the Broncos in the win were Owen Sim, Brenden Higginson, who tallied six goals in the contest, Hayden Kalelest (2), Kai Hilton, Roman Boston, Ben Huston and Jonas Erickson.
Providing scoring for the Riverkings were Daniel Villeneuve, Ben Bergmann, Vance Engstrom with a hat trick, Joe Henley and Will Roberts. Goaltenders in the contest were Ethan Moore for the Broncos and Nick Getz for the Riverkings.
WLMHA MIDGET FINAL
The gold-medal game in the WLMHA midget division was a battle between the Rope Rippers and the Jungle.
After a 2-2 tie in regulation and five minutes of four-on-four overtime, the Jungle notched the winner with 9.7 seconds left to claim the gold medal.
The Jungle’s team captain Matt Samson put his team on the board first in the first 12 minutes, off a setup from Jacob Jackson, before Rope Rippers’ Logan Hutchinson tied it up at one a piece.
The Jungle’s Deekan Hutchinson then gave his team a 2-1 lead.
Rope Rippers’ player Brady Smid would later give his team a chance to pull off the come-from-behind win, evening the score at 2-2 midway through the third.
In overtime, Ryan Hutchinson and the Jungle had other plans, however, as Ryan’s blast from the point got past the Roper Rippers’ netminder to win the game. Assisting on the game winner was Jacob Jackson.
“[The players] described the winner as a magical roller-coaster shot,” said the Jungle’s coach Jonathan Jackson.
Jonathan noted Rope Rippers netminder Carson Fisher stood on his head in the effort to help his team win.
The bronze-medal game between the Ducks and Mueller Electric, which also went to overtime, saw the Ducks come out on top to win bronze.