(Back row) Windermere Valley Rockies midget players Aiden Broderick, Isabella Palumbo, Kelowna Rockets AAA minor midget player Kjell Osborne, Rockies midget player Arvin Rana, (Front row) bantam players Braxton Gulliford, Brandon Mastroianni, Lukas Pfisterer, Rex Baxendale, and Evan Tsadilas all placed gold in their hockey divisions this year with their teams. Missing from photo: Midgets Datton Durning, Kyle Frasca, and Andrue Durant. Keri Sculland/Star Photo

Golden hockey players bring home gold

Submitted

The 2018/19 Windermere Valley Rockies midgets were a team that believed in themselves and trusted each other when it counted most, having one magical ride to win the BC Hockey Tier 4 Midget Championship.

It all started with a game one comeback Sunday, March 17 in Creston. A slow start and a sloppy second period found the team in a 6-3 hole against Summerland starting the third. Spencer Dubois and Kyle Frasca applied puck pressure causing many fumbles. Datton Durning scored two goals in the final minute, giving him a hat trick, and the game final was 6-6.

Coming off the high from the previous game, and having Tristen McIntosh back in the lineup, the team came out flying and secured a 3-0 lead in the game against Elk Valley on Monday, March 18. Another soft second period, Elk Valley tied the game. The teams exchanged goals but Durning popped in the game winner with 3.25 minutes left and then Mathew Cable scored. Sunny Langton and Arvin Rana were stellar on defence, with the final being a Rockies win at 6-4.

Against 100 Mile House on Tuesday, March 19, there was complete domination. An injury to Emily Gervais ignited the team. Johnny Postlethwaite had a hat trick, Skeeter Langton shut the door, and Nolan Douglas and others contributed four goals in the third for the 8-1 victory. The second period was the first penalty-free period for the team this entire season. Against Creston in Game 4, Isabella Palumbo was as solid as usual between the pipes, but the game ended in 4-2 in favour of Creston.

The gold medal game on Wednesday, March 20 was played in front of a cheering hometown crowd. The first period ended 0-0 with Langton making several key saves and Morgan Clarke setting the tone not only on the ice with his physical play, but with his words of wisdom off the ice helping to keep the players motivated and on task. In the second, Austin Charette scored, assisted by Postlethwaite. Then Davis Tenta was ejected, spurring on the team. Early in the third, Nick Irons scored, assisted by Cable. Ninety seconds later, a bad bounce led to Creston’s first goal of the game. Then, the tying goal by Creston had the home crowd cheering. There was a slashing call to Andrue Durant with less than three minutes left. The penalty killing came through yet again and the game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. In the overtime, there was extra effort by Cable to keep the puck in play at Creston’s blue line, and then tremendous work by players who sent the puck to Durant for the game winner and the Tier 4 Championship.

The Windermere Valley Rockies midget coaching staff wishes good luck to graduating players Langton, Postlethwaite, Dubois, Gervais, Tenta, Durning, Durant, and Frasca.

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