Crowds erupted into cheers and the Terrace boys piled over the boards as the buzzard clinched the game to an end, securing a 4-3 victory for the Terrace Midgets.
Unrivalled intensity marked the final two minutes of the match, with Terrace fiercely defending against the 6-on-4 Alberni onslaught.
The Terrace boys managed to cling to their 4-3 lead till the blast of the buzzer erupted the arena with cheers.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” said Terrace’s Mark Fisher after the game. “Winning it at home and ending my minor hockey career like that — it’s unbelievable.”
“Best feeling in the world,” echoed Brandon Onstein. “I don’t think I’m going to live to get a better feeling than that — that was amazing!”
Onstein scored his second straight hat trick during the game, and radiated with excitement after the game.
“Scoring feels so good, especially with all the fans there cheering you on… [it’s] the best feeling ever, especially with that third goal,” he said.
The game certainly developed in a positive direction after what was a tough start for the Terrace boys.
Grasping for footing under the pressure of the packed arena, the Terrace boys struggled in the first five minutes of the game.
Alberni dominated the ice but Terrace goaltender Josh Fernandes managed to stave off attacks and keep the Vancouver opponents off the scoreboard.
“We bent, but we didn’t break,” said coach Rob Bell of those early minutes.
As the period advanced and the boys settled into the game, Terrace managed to secure a 2-0 lead.
Team captain Gianni Cormano banged in the first goal off of a scrum to make it 1-0 eight minutes into the first.
Just two minutes later, Onstein scored his first goal — flicking the puck over the Alberni goalie from the left side.
The puck was advanced back and forth in the second period, with both teams seizing a number of chances.
Just six minutes into the second, Onstein netted his second goal.
Fed by a pass from Quinn Moulder, Onstein fired the puck five-hole through the goalie’s legs, securing a 3-0 lead for Terrace.
But that wasn’t it.
Alberni battled back and landed two goals in the next four minutes, putting the score 3-2 midway through the game.
The action packed second period continued when Onstein slapped in his third goal with six minutes left.
As the boys iced through third period, Alberni managed to execute an attack to narrow the gap again to 4-3.
The southern opponents battled just one goal behind for the rest of the period, with a number of key power play chances as referees tightened their calls.
The final two minutes saw the Terrace boys narrowly hanging onto their lead while Alberni made a final 6-on-4 thrust — doubling a power play advantage by pulling their goalie.
Relief was coupled with jubilation when the buzzer finally sounded to clinch the 4-3 victory for Terrace.
“It was a fire drill,” said coach Rob Bell of those final few minutes.
“The boys battled through some nerves, they bent but they didn’t break and they managed to hold onto our lead,” he said, adding that Fernandes demonstrated some great goaltending.
“I’m so proud of them all,” he said.