Well, it wasn’t easy, but they did it.
The Terrace Midget Rep Kermodes are provincial champions for the second year in a row after defeating Quesnel 3-1 in an epic northern B.C. final March 18 in Dawson Creek.
“It was a squealer I’ll tell ya, holy smokes,” said coach Rory Reinbolt, who coaches with his son Sam, and Dave Kawinsky. “They played with two lines rather than three and I thought they would be tired by the second game but I think they had more gas in their tank than we did when it got near to the end. We were up 2-1 and they were hungry and we were trying to hold on. It was fast and furious and frantic at the end there.”
It was an uphill battle to get to the championship after a tough loss in game one to Sooke. That meant every game was a must-win for the Terrace reps, but they rose to the challenge, beating Cranbrook, South Okanagan, and Coquitlam to make it to the final against Quesnel.
Terrace opened scoring in the final at 11:12 with a goal by Fred Mowatt and took a 1-0 lead going into the second. Connor Onstein scored at 17:25, making it 2-0 for Terrace. Quesnel replied at 11:48 in the third with a goal by Riley Kyle.
“Very exciting,” said Reinbolt. “They played very well, either team could have won that one, so I guess it was our turn.”
He chalks up part of the success to the 11 vets on the team – the boys who won the provincial championship last year. “They get to do it all over again and I think that really helps as well, helps kind of stabilize things,” he said.
A clutch performance by the Terrace goalie, Dion Johnston, didn’t hurt either.
“Last game, our goalie was just crazy,” he said. “I think they had four breakaways blueline in and he stoned them. And the last minute-and-a-half they pulled their goalie and had some quality opportunities as well. He stood on his head.
“We had our chances too – the Quesnel goalie played well,” he said. “We were all very happy to see that empty net goal roll in from our zone into the net, everybody knew we’d done it and it was all over, a big long season with our goal finally met. It was pretty exciting.”
Not only is the win sweet for the 11 returning players who get to take hold of the banner once again and leave minor hockey on a major high note, but it’s especially vindicating for the players who were on the bronze-winning bantam team last year. For several years Terrace teams have been standing out at provincials, something Reinbolt says could be attributed to more training time because of the second set of ice – Terrace has been able to get past Smithers, a team which in the past was very hard to beat, and other northwest teams for a number of years now.
“You never know, you get a batch of kids and you get a batch of coaches, and you get a good minor hockey executive and everyone pulls together as a team they can pull over the top,” he said.
Bantams take bronze
Meanwhile, the Terrace Kermode Bantam Reps captured bronze with a 4-0 win over South Okanagan at Tier 3 provincials in Port Hardy March 18.
The team had a strong start to the tourney, slamming Squamish 10-0 and scoring six goals in the last half of the third period to take Kerry Park 8-6 in game two. The team took a 3-2 loss to South Okanagan in game three.
Then after a hard fought 3-1 loss to Whitehorse (the eventual B.C. champions) Terrace played south Okanagan for third – and handily beat them 4-0.
With Trevor Ebeling starting the scoring, Jared Moth came in with a spectacular effort for the second goal.
Trevor Ebeling scored the third goal and Quinn Mulder finished off the scoring for Terrace. And goalie Josh Fernandes collected his second shutout of the 2015 provincials.
Female reps come close
It was a tightly contested Female Midget Rep provincial tournament in Penticton –and the Terrace Kermodes came oh so close, falling 3-1 in overtime in the bronze medal final against the Williams Lake Timberwolves.
The Kermodes opened up the tournament with a win against the home team before losing to Richmond in game two. A win against Cranbrook followed by a sudden death over time loss to Midget Impact set them up for the bronze medal game. Terrace got on the board first at 10:39 on a goal from Ashley Kuehne, assisted by Lauren Smaha-Muir. Terrace’s Grace Kennedy scored at 2:38 on a pass from Bailey Kasum to finish period one.
The game went back and forth with Williams Lake clocking a goal in the second and the third to tie it up and force overtime, which Williams Lake would ultimately win.