MISSION, B.C. — The Kimberley Dynamiters are off to the 2015 Cyclone Taylor Cup final after a 5-4 double-overtime victory over the North Vancouver Wolf Pack Sunday afternoon.
“I actually had a couple tears in my eye,” said Dynamiters head coach Jerry Bancks. “I was so happy for them. It’s Easter. It’s a special day and good things happen to good people. I’ve got some great kids in that room. It was wonderful.”
Though the Nitros will play for B.C. Junior B supremacy Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. (PST), the trip to the championship game didn’t come easily or without consequence.
Dynamiters captain Jason Richter ended a crazy affair six seconds into three-on-three double overtime by putting a Jared March rebound past Wolf Pack goaltender Trevor Withers.
“I just saw Marchi with the puck, so I was just trying to drive the net,” Richter said. “I knew right off the hop he was going to shoot far pad or somewhere out there. I was just looking for a rebound, it came out and luckily it went in. It was kind of just relief. I didn’t really want to play much longer. I was pretty tired, so I was pretty happy to get it over and done with.”
“It feels good but we’re not satisfied yet, obviously. We want to get the win. But it’s still a great feeling knowing we’ve made it there.”
Richter’s tally ended a game that was a relatively tame 1-0 affair after 40 minutes.
The two teams combined to score seven goals in the third period and though the offensive outburst was notable, all the talk after the game was regarding Nitros forward Coy Prevost.
Midway through the final period of regulation, Prevost parked himself in front of Winters. After waving his stick at a long point shot in an attempt to redirect it past the Wolf Pack goaltender, Prevost clipped Withers’ stick, knocking it to the ice.
The backside official immediately raised his arm to signal a call against the Dynamiters.
As play was blown dead, Prevost was assessed a two-minute minor for goaltender interference, before being shown the door to the dressing room. The 17-year-old Kimberley native had been handed a game misconduct as well.
Under Section 8.7 of the B.C. Hockey Junior B Rules Supplement, “should a team be charged with a second goaltender interference penalty in the same game, the player committing the second infraction shall receive a game misconduct and a one-game suspension.”
With one fell swoop, misfortune struck both the Dynamiters and Prevost as defenceman James Jowsey had previously been tagged with a goaltender interference penalty late in the second period, meaning Prevost’s Cyclone Taylor Cup campaign was likely over.
Following the game, the play was under review by B.C. Hockey officials on site. As of 7:28 p.m. (PST) there was no verdict as to whether or not the ruling would be upheld.
After Jordan Roy opened the scoring in the first period, neither of the two teams found the back of the net until Wolf Pack forward Mitch Crisanti tied the game 1-1 less than five minutes into the third period.
That started the back-and-forth third period of play.
A mere 28 seconds later, Keenan Haase restored the one-goal lead for the Nitros, only to have that erased by Wolf Pack forward Brodyn Nielsen seven minutes later.
It only took 1:20 for Justin Meier to, once again, restore the Dynamiters one-goal lead, but Crisanti was on the scene once again to tie the game 3-3 with 4:13 remaining in regulation.
Less than two minutes after Crisanti’s second goal of the game, Jowsey had his point shot deflect up in the air. Withers couldn’t track the puck as it floated up over his head before bouncing into the net for a 4-3 Dynamiters lead.
The madness wasn’t quite done.
With Withers on the bench for the extra attacker, Wolf Pack forward Spencer Quon took a feed on the doorstep, tying the game 4-4.
“I’m not sure what lesson there would be in that [period] other than you’ve got to maintain your good mental focus,” Bancks said. “[The Wolf Pack] put some good players out there. They had eight or nine 20-year-olds that are strong and they’ve played a lot of hockey. They know how to play. We just had some little mental breakdowns, or got outmuscled a few times.
“They wanted it bad. You could tell by the tears in the handshake that they wanted it real bad. Credit to them. It was a great game and they battled hard.”
After a scoreless first period of overtime, the two teams carried on into double overtime where a determined Richter ended the crazy affair.
A penalty-filled contest saw both teams battle to 1-for-9 records on the man advantage.
Dynamiters goaltender Tyson Brouwer made 34 saves on 39 shots for the win. At the other end, Withers turned aside 32 of 37 shots.
The Dynamiters move on to face one of the Campbell River Storm or Mission City Outlaws in the Cyclone Taylor Cup final Monday.
The Dynamiters collected points in all three of their round-robin games — a 2-1 regulation win over Mission City, a 4-3 double-overtime defeat by Campbell River and Sunday’s double-overtime win — to advance to the tournament finale.
“I think we’ve definitely calmed down, we kind of know what to expect,” Richter said of his team’s progression through the tournament.
“I think we’ve calmed down quite a bit. Going into [Monday] we’ll be just as calm and we’ll definitely be ready.”
The Storm have collected five points through tournament play heading into their final game of round-robin action, while the Outlaws have two points.
A regulation win for the host Outlaws would vault them into the final, with the first tiebreak being head-to-head record between tied teams.
Anything less than a regulation win for Mission City and the Campbell River Storm move on to the Cyclone Taylor Cup final.
The North Vancouver Wolf Pack will play for the bronze medal at 11 a.m. (PST) Monday.
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