It was a wild game and a Wild win.
Whitehorse Wild defeated the Whitehorse Flames 11-9 for gold in the Timbit final at the Canada Games Centre on Sunday.
The youngest division had the highest scoring final at the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s Year End Tournament.
“All the teams evened out over the year,” said Wild coach Warren Kepaniuk. “Usually at the beginning of the year you have a really strong team and a bunch of other teams. But as the kids develop they seem to pick it up, especially for the tournament. I like to see a tournament where there’s lots of parity between the teams.”
It was obvious which player had his Wheaties Sunday morning.
Wild’s Luke Cozens had breakaway after breakaway en route to scoring 10 of his team’s 11 goals.
“He comes from a hockey family,” said Kepaniuk. “All his older brothers play hockey, he grew up at the arena, so he’s definitely motivated to keep up with his older brothers.”
Wild overcame four one-goal leads by the Flames in the first period and the start of the second. Wild then began taking one-goal leads of their own that the Flames erased.
At 9-9 Cozens roofed a rebound into the top of the Flames’ net with 1:30 left in the third period. He then scored the insurance goal on a breakaway with 29 seconds left.
Wild’s Kaelen Halowaty scored his team’s fifth goal.
Flames Landon Cowper had a hat trick in the final while teammates Nash Holmes and Marcus Morberg each scored twice. Taylor Bierlmeier and Brody Calbery each contributed single goals.
“It was a fantastic game,” said Flames coach Blayne Monahan. “Our guys have come a long way. It was fun, the crowd loved it, so I couldn’t ask for anything more.
“Wild have been the best team all year. We started off not being able to beat anybody, so to come in second place was great for the kids.
“It was a victory already … Everybody won.”
The Canucks defeated the Penguins 8-6 to capture the bronze just before the final.
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