By now, the midget rep Terrace Kermodes probably enjoy the confines of Prince Rupert’s Jim Ciccone Civic Centre almost as much as their own arena.
Every time the team rolls in, it seems they roll over their Seawolves rivals and roll out – and last weekend was no different during the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey-hosted Battle of the Ice tournament.
Hosting Burns Lake, Smithers and Terrace, the four-team tourney came to a head when the Seawolves and Kermodes met up in the final after finishing first and second in the round robin, respectively.
And while it was the Seawolves who struck first and won Game One of Battle of the Ice 4-3, it was the Kermodes who had all the momentum during Sunday’s final, skating their way to a 10-0 victory and the gold medal.
“We expected to win,” said Kermodes goalie Dion Johnston, who collected his first shutout of the weekend in the final.
“Not 10-0. I thought it’d be a little closer, but we wanted it.”
The midget rep Kermodes, who lost their only game all weekend to Rupert in that 4-3 loss, beat Smithers 4-2 and Burns Lake 5-4 in the leadup to the final. Johnston played every game except the first against Rupert.
Despite the lopsided score, some of the best hockey played by the Seawolves was that of goaltenders Cole Lindsay, who played the first period and surrendered two goals to the Kermodes’ Ryan Kawinsky and Mark Fisher, and Caleb Perrie, who prevented Terrace from piling it on in the second period when he took over.
Perrie fought off deflected shots from the point and large amounts of traffic in front to keep Terrace’s lead respectable at 5-0 after two periods.
Two tremendous saves in particular by Perrie occurred when he stuck his right pad out to deny Freddie Mowatt a one-timer from point-blank range and another stop, again with his pads, on Liam Albright who was pounding away at a loose puck, but a down-and-out Perrie kept his right leg firmly against the post, showing off the youngsters’ lower-body strength.
Yet despite his best efforts, Perrie could only do so much and three goals by Connor Onstein, Hunter Johnson and Kermodes captain Cole Motschilnig gave the Kermodes a commanding 5-0 lead after two periods. Onstein’s tally was on the power-play and Motschilnig’s was on a delayed call against Rupert.
The Kermodes broke the game wide open in the third period, where they relentlessly hemmed the Seawolves in their own zone for minutes at a time and added five more goals to their score.
A shorthanded marker got things going four minutes into the third, followed by a four-on-four goal by Sam Reinbolt, who slid a wrister underneath the pads of Perrie with 6:47 left in the game.
Then, on a five-on-three man-advantage, with Rupert desperate for a line change, the gigantic Nicholas Nordstrom found a lane from the right point to put Terrace up 8-0.
Two more goals by Albright and Colten Stark rounded out the scoring for the Kermodes.
“We worked really good as a team today,” said Johnston.
“We really pulled together after our loss. We were pretty rusty the first couple games. All of us have been here since peewee – this is pretty much the same team we had back then,” he said of the group’s closeness.
Smithers defeated Burns Lake for the bronze medal 5-1 and in other round robin action, Smithers dumped Burns Lake 4-1 in their first meeting, Prince Rupert topped Burns Lake 6-2, Terrace doubled up on Smithers 4-2, then beat Burns Lake 5-4, and Prince Rupert beat Smithers 5-3.
Prince Rupert’s most points award went to Cole Atchison, while Karanpal Gill got player of the game and Austin Weir won Prince Rupert’s player of the tournament.
Terrace’s most points award was won by Johnson, Tanner Braid was game MVP and the tournament MVP title went to the Kermodes’ Eric Vandevelde.