Fountain Tire looked to have a fresh set of wheels on in the Whitehorse Rec Hockey League B division final at the Canada Games Centre on Thursday.
After allowing an early goal, Fountain Tire took control of the game and secured a 7-3 win over the ORC Tree Services Slashers for the B title.
“We’ve really been rolling this year. We had a great regular season and took the top place in the B, but we weren’t way better than anybody. Anybody could beat us on a given night,” said Fountain Tire captain Geoff Quinsey. “We had a good run in the playoffs and this is the culmination.”
The Tire crew’s division win was a long time in the making. It was the team’s first time winning the division in what was their fourth consecutive appearance in the final.
“Everyone’s all pumped up,” said Quinsey, with sounds of jubilance escaping from the locker room.
“Just happiness,” he added, when asked about the atmosphere. “We’re going to miss all our boys over the course of the summer. We enjoy getting together; we have as much fun in the room as we do on the ice. We’re going to miss our buddies through the summer. Guys are talking baseball.”
Fountain Tire was the favourite going into the final, placing first in the regular season with a 23-7-2 record. ORC was three spots behind in the fourth with an 11-16-4 record.
“We all grew up together and have known each other since we were kids, so for us – we want to win, but it’s more about having fun at the end of the day,” said ORC coach and player Mike Beauchamp. “If you’re not having fun, especially when you’re losing, what’s the point in being out?”
The B division playoffs consisted of a five-game round-robin for the six teams.
ORC went 3-2-0 in the playoff round-robin, which was enough to put them in the one-game, winner-take-all, final.
Fountain Tire went 3-1-1 in the playoff round-robin, needing a win in their final game to make the final, which they got in a 8-2 victory over ORC on March 17.
“They had a short bench again that night,” said Quinsey. “They’re a different team with a longer bench.”
Down 1-0 early in the final, Fountain Tire took the lead with two goals from Jeff Pike to end the period up by a goal.
They then expanded the gap in the second with two goals from Quinsey and singles from Chad Thomas, Jon Osborne and Darcy Carlick.
“Jeff Pike led the way,” said Quinsey. “He had our first two goals and those were really big for us.”
“The other one is our goaltender (Jordan Cowman), we let in some quality scoring chances,” said Quinsey. “They had lots of scoring chances and he shut the door, so he was a big part of that.”
Cowman finished the regular season with the lowest goals against average in the league at 2.83.
Jeremy Hookham scored ORC’s first and last goal while teammate Dan Johnson got the second. ORC’s Willy Mokenna had two assists.
“If you don’t bring your legs all the way through, then they’re going to end up beating you,” said Beauchamp, whose team only had four subs on the bench. “You see these guys, they’re up five goals and they’re still flying in there trying to get more. So you try to keep pace with them, but when you have a short bench you kind of fall off.”
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