After a nail-biter of a game and two blowout victories, Prince Rupert’s bantam rep Seawolves have secured a finals berth in the 2018 Tier 4 Bantam Provincial Championships.
“So far, things have gone how we’d hoped,” said head coach Bruce Watkinson. “You want to start off your tournament on a high note, and that’s exactly what we were able to do.”
The Seawolves came from behind in the final minutes of their game against Kitimat on March 18 to win 3-2 in a win which set the tone for the early part of their tournament.
Jonathan Pirillo scored less than two minutes into the game to give the Seawolves the lead, but Kitimat was able to answer with a goal of their own before the end of the first period to tie the game going into the first intermission.
The game remained tied through the second and the majority of the third period when Kitimat’s Bailey Roswell scored with 6:10 left in the game.
With the end of the game quickly approaching, the Seawolves dug in and pressed the action. Their effort was rewarded when Nolan Stava scored the tying goal with 1:48 remaining.
“Once that goal went in, we just had that confidence that we would be able to win the game,” Watkinson said.
Stava then scored the go-ahead goal with six seconds remaining on the clock to take the victory for the Seawolves.
Watkinson said the victory was vital to boosting his team’s confidence as they have struggled to beat Kitimat throughout the regular season.
“That win helped us believe in ourselves, and it’s given Kitimat two loses for the tournament, which is big,” he said.
The team’s next game was against 100 Mile House on March 19, a physical team that plays aggressively on the forecheck. Watkinson said his team knew that discipline would be the key to winning the matchup.
“We knew if we stayed focused, they would give up penalties and give ourselves opportunities,” he said.
That prediction proved to be true, as 100 Mile House spent 28-minutes in the penalty box, and gave up 5 power-play goals for the game.
The Seawolves took advantage of their opponent’s errors, scoring three goals in the first period, four goals in the second and three in the third to win the game 10-2.
The team’s third game was against Langley. Watkinson said it took them a while to get going, but the Seawolves were able to score three goals at the end of the first period. The Seawolves would hold on to win 4-1. They played in the tournament finals on Wednesday (after press deadline).
Visit www.thenorthernview.com for full coverage of the tournament. Final results will be available in next week’s paper.