Down 2-0 with 10 minutes left to play, things weren’t looking all too good for the Christ the King Wolverines in the final of the Whitehorse Elementary Hockey Tournament.
But the team was becoming a more cohesive unit with each minute of ice time and it all came together when it mattered most.
“They are all really good kids, all friends and throughout the day – this was the first time they were really playing together as a team – they kept getting tighter and tighter,” said Wolverines co-head coach Ron Billingsley. “We had speed and we had some good shooters, for sure. They were able to feed off each other, had some nice passes made, and it was fun.”
The Wolverines scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Golden Horn Glaciers 4-2 in the final of the 12th annual tournament at the Canada Games Centre on Wednesday. Christ the King won the tournament, which had 15 schools compete Wednesday, for the first time in 2014 before coming up short last year.
Joey Schultz got the ball rolling for the Wolverines halfway through the 20-minute final. He outpaced two defenders and found a gap between the post and skate of Glaciers goalie Dawson Smith to make it 2-1.
Two minutes later Johnny Timmins put a shot off Smith’s facemask that bounced up and over for 2-2.
Wolverines’ Austin Larkin one-timed a pass in front to take the lead and Schultz added his second of the game with basically a replay of his first goal.
“Joey is a really good player, got a lot of our goals,” said Billingsley.
The Christ the King team, which was buttressed by goalie Quinn Howard, went 2-2-1 in the round robin to finish third in their pool. They then played three back-to-back playoff games including the final.
It was the same for Golden Horn, a team with four less players at just 10.
“We played pretty good, we just lost a little in the end. Other than that it was a pretty good game,” said Glaciers head coach Orion Cruikshank.
The Glaciers scored their first of the final on a breakaway by Connor Cooper two and a half minutes in. Teammate Seth Sheardown-Waugh addd the second nine minutes in, hacking in a rebound from in front.
The team from Golden Horn Elementary, a school of just 204 students, was just happy to reach the final, said their coach.
“The best we’ve ever done other than this was to make it to the bronze medal game, but we lost that game,” said Cruikshank. “We’re a pretty small school, so we’re happy that we made it to the gold medal game.”
Cruikshank, who is a Grade 7 student at the school, would have been on the ice with his team if not for an injured leg.
Christ the King reached the final with a 3-0 win over Holy Family in the semifinal.
Holy Family went on to take bronze with a 3-2 shootout win over Whitehorse Elementary School. The shootout went through eight sets of shooters before Paige Stockley finally sealed the deal for the Holy Family team.
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