Duncan’s Ltd. was just seconds from facing league-leading Titan Gaming in a shootout for gold when something special happened.
A long shot from Duncan’s Orion Cruikshank was deflected up by Titan goalie Noah Gilbert, only to land behind him, crossing the goal line with 2.4 seconds left on the clock.
“It was the slowest puck I’ve ever seen in the air,” said Duncan’s coach Carl Burgess.
The last-minute win gave Duncan’s the novice title of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s Year End Tournament that wrapped up Sunday at the Canada Games Centre. The final score was 3-2.
“Those little guys, on both teams, were flat out playing their best hockey of the year,” said Burgess.
Not only did Duncan’s final goal come in dramatic fashion, so did the win as a whole. Duncan’s found themselves down 2-0 by the end of the first period.
Though not the tying goal, nor the winning goal, Burgess gives a lot of the credit for the win to Justin Ekholm, burying a spin-o-rama shot from the slot to start the second. It changed the course of the game, said Burgess.
“He turned the whole game around and turned our spirits around,” he said. “It was his first goal of the year. He cracked our egg, as it were.”
Duncan’s Hugo Burgess found the top corner of the Titan net with a wrist shot to tie the game in the second.
Both teams’ goalies – Duncan’s Nisha Dempsey and Titan’s Gilbert – kept their nets clean in the third.
“They both played unbelievable games,” said Carl. “They both faced about 40, 50 shots.”
Scoring for Titan were Darin White and Brett Brown.
In the other medal game, Scotiabank defeated Cinderwood 4-3 to collect the bronze.
Scoring both the tying goal and the winning goal was Brayden Gleason-Frost. Teammate Joey Schultz scored the first two goals and assisted Gleason-Frost in the game-winner.
“This is the year these kids progress from Timbits (tyke hockey) to full-ice play-making,” said the Duncan’s coach. “Both teams were at that level by the end of the year – all the teams were.”
Envirolube wins peewee division
Yukon Office Supply was the team to beat all season long and that’s what happened Sunday.
Envirolube captured gold with a 6-1 win over the league-leaders, Office Supply, in the peewee division final.
“We really spent a lot of time talking with the kids this tournament, tried to make sure they were prepared to play the game – keep their head in the game,” said Envirolube coach Mark Wykes. “They came through for us.”
Envirolube displayed a real team effort in the final with a melange of five goal-scorers. Morgan Schmidt scored twice while Jared Morgan, Kale McLeod, Lockie Fraser and Cole Wykes also found the back of the Office Supply net. Morgan also got an assist.
“We have quite a few players who are strong, but we saw a good effort from everybody,” said Mark. “Even our weaker players played hard. Goaltending was strong for us – that’s always huge. We actually have two goalies but Matthew (Blindheim) played this game.”
Scoring Office Supply’s lone goal was Johnny Elias.
“I’d like to say it was the coaching staff that won it, but that’s not the case,” said Mark. “The kids deserved to win that. It feels good to finish the season beating (Office Supply). We’ve only beaten them a couple times this year.”
McDonald’s Gold Rush Gang, the division’s predominately female squad, took bronze.
Takhini Transport drives to gold
Following a bumpy start, Takhini Transport hit top gear and cruised to gold in the bantam division on Sunday.
After taking a 5-2 loss to Northwestel to open the year-end tournament, Takhini won their next four games in the six-team round-robin.
“We came out pretty flat,” said Takhini Transport coach John Grant. “We got better every game, so that was good.”
The Peewee Mustangs also went 4-1 in the round-robin. However, having defeated the Whitehorse rep team 5-4 in their match-up, Takhini Transport was awarded the gold.
In addition to praising his whole team, Grant singled out his peewee aged goalie Sean Menard.
“He played really well,” said Grant of his goalkeep.
“Our goal scoring was really spread around quite well,” he added. “All the kids really played well together. And we managed to stay out of the penalty box, which is always good.”
Gold Lightning strikes in atom final
ADC Gold Lightning gave an electric performance in the atom final of the year-end tourney.
ADC captured the gold in a 5-1 win over Coldwell Banker.
Scoring for ADC were Kayden King, Xavier Lesage, Cameron Bushell and Matthew Trembley with two.
Putting the puck in for Coldwell was Logan Mackay.
Skookum Asphalt came back from down 3-1 at the end of the first period to take bronze in a 6-5 win over Canadian Tire. Scoring the game-winner was Ewan Halliday with his second of the game.
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