On the night the Oscars were being handed out, Whitehorse’s Canaccord Capitals gave a performance worthy of a Hollywood movie.
“If you looked at the boys it looked like they just won the Stanley Cup,” said Capitals coach Evan Grant. “They were definitely excited.”
Playing in the Yukon Peewee Championships in Teslin, the Capitals hockey team finished in the top spot with a thrilling 8-7 victory over Whitehorse’s Pizza Hut team in the finals.
Capitals’ Nolan Mountain scored the game winner with 36 second left on the clock, assisted by captain Cole Comin, who also got the tying goal to make it 7-7.
Mountain broke into the Hut’s end and took a beautiful pass from Comin at the blueline, burying it upstairs on the short side.
Contributing five goals and six assists, Comin was given the tournament MVP title for the Capitals.
“Cole was instrumental in setting up lots of goals in the tournament,” said Grant. “Supporting Nolan Mountain, who’s one of our defencemen, Cole was always there to drop back for him and allow him to go forward on rushes.”
Mountain produced eight goals and three assists while in Teslin.
The Capitals also began the tournament with a close win over Pizza Hut, taking it 4-2. To pump up his offence in the finals, Grant moved Tyson Hope from defence to forward, which resulted in a goal for Hope.
“He was playing so strong I moved him to the forward so he could be influential in scoring,” said Grant.
Alex Hanson, opened the scoring in the first for the Capitals and also racked up a pair of assists in the game. Hanson’s goal came while his team was facing a 3-0 deficit in the first.
“Hanson always has a positive attitude and really started to bring the team around,” said Grant.
Finishing third was the only all-girl team entered, the Skookum Avalanche from Whitehorse.
For the bronze the Avalanche defeated Teslin 3-1. The Avalanche was sent to the bronze game with a 6-3 loss to Pizza Hut, after dropping a 2-0 lead.
Avalanche centre Lynsey Keaton, originally from Dawson City, scored in every game and left with six goals and five assists.
“She’s a very skilled, high-tempo player,” said Avalanche coach Bouchard. “She’s got intensity and skills.”
Left winger Sadie Whitelaw, one of a few bantams on the team playing up an age group, led her team in shots on net, securing four goals and assists.
“She’s 14 years old but she’s five-eight, five-nine,” said Bouchard. “(She’s) very fast, has really good hands and a wicked shot and she really tested every goalie in every game.”
Another player recognized by Bouchard was defence Linsey Eby who supplied five goals and two assists.
“The girls have worked hard all season and it showed on the ice,” said Bouchard.
“We used to go out and beat them 20-1 and things like that,” said Grant of the Avalanche team. “The girls have come a long way. They’re competitive with the boys and they’re right there. They’ve improved amazingly.”
In mid-March the Avalanche will be traveling to Burnaby, BC, to become the first all-girls team from the territory to compete in the bantam girls BC Provincials.
“That should be the bar for us to see where we stand as far as female hockey,” said Bouchard.
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