The Juneau Capitals had a score to settle in the atom final of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s Year End Tournament on Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.
In the third meeting between the Juneau Capitals and Whitehorse Black this season, the Alaskan squad defeated the home team 4-2 to win the atom title.
“They skated hard, they earned it,” said Capitals head coach Steve Baseden. “Whitehorse played a great game, our kids did too. It was a great hockey game. It’s just the way the puck bounces sometimes.
“We’re really thankful that Whitehorse invited us here,” he added. “They’re very gracious. The whole organization is fabulous. The size of the city Whitehorse is and the hockey program they have is amazing.”
Sunday’s game was a rematch of the final of the Yukon Atom Hockey Championships in Haines Junction two months ago.
Whitehorse Black, playing their third consecutive game of the day, came back from down 3-0 to win it in a shootout in Haines Junction.
Black also beat Juneau in a shootout during round-robin play at the Year End tourney on Friday.
It was a different story in Sunday’s final.
Juneau scored twice in the first period and took a 3-0 goal early in the second.
Black got on the board on a cross-ice pass from Kaelen Lewis to Joey Schultz, who popped in his own rebound, midway through the second.
Following a fourth Juneau goal in the third, Lewis scored an unassisted goal, jamming the puck under Juneau goalie Dawson Hickok to make it 4-2.
“It was a great game right from the start,” said Black head coach Mark Daniels. “All the players played hard. It was a little bit of us, a little bit of them, and in the end they won. We were looking forward to playing them and had a great time.”
“They were tougher around their net,” added Daniels. “Our players played hard, went to the net hard, did what they’re supposed to do, but their defence came up big.”
Lewis and Schultz also scored in the shootout to give Black the win over Juneau on Friday.
Juneau’s Paxton Wildes scored twice in the final while teammates Evan Fabrello and Dylan Murdoch put singles on the board.
The Yellow Jackets were wearing bronze at the end of Sunday. The Yellow squad defeated Whitehorse Red 4-1 in the third-place game.
Yellow’s Wyatt Sheardown-Waugh scored his team’s first three goals and Ashton Underhill added the fourth.
Jackson Benn scored for Red.
Juneau was one of two teams from outside Whitehorse to compete in the Year End Tournament. Dawson City’s Klondike Kings came for the tourney and made it to the final of the bantam division for silver.
“It’s actually the first time in many (years) that Outside teams picked up on the open invite,” said Carl Burgess, president of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association. “We made sure that people knew, and we had some takers. It’s been an open invitation for five or six years now.”
Contact Tom Patrick at