The Terrace Midget Rep Kermodes didn’t have the best start to the Tier 3 Provincial Championships in Dawson Creek this week, but they are hoping to have a gold medal ending.
The team spent the tournament battling back after opening the tournament with a game one loss to Sooke – each game a necessary win to secure their spot on the next rung of the championship ladder.
And this morning’s 7-3 win over Coquitlam means Terrace will face off in the championship final against Quesnel tonight at 8 p.m.
“We just won a big game, big crossover game,” said Kermodes coach Rory Reinbolt after the game.
Coquitlam opened up the scoring in the first before Terrace tied it to make it 1-1 going into the second.
“Our boys were a little tight and the pucks were bouncing off sticks a bit,” said Reinbolt. “But then we started to turn it on a little bit towards the end of the period.”
And they kept turning it around, relying on their three strong lines and solid goaltending, as they have for the duration of the season and tournament.
“It was kind of coasting from probably the 15 minute mark on, which was kind of nice,” he said. “It didn’t start well but it ended well.”
That’s essentially the theme for the tournament.
“We had a scary start, one of those ones where we hadn’t played in a couple of weeks and we knew the first game was going to be a little scary… and it was,” he said. “We had a run of three penalties with eight minutes left in the game and didn’t kill off the last one, think they scored with a minute and a half left.”
But the team took that loss and battled back, and like their chances against northern B.C. rivals Quesnel in the finals – a team they have played a couple of times before at tournaments during the regular season.
“It seems that they’ve always been on the other side of the pool in the tournaments we’ve played them in so we haven’t seen them as much,” said Reinbolt, noting that they did beat them once in Prince George and that another time “we weren’t as fortunate.”
“We like our chances. We’ve got three lines going, three sets of d, three sets of forwards, and goaltending has been strong for us the whole provincial,” he said. “They’ve got a shorter bench than us, and it’s the second game for them as well as us, so we like that.”
But in the one game takes all format, anything can happen, and getting to the end of the tournament, all teams are a little more worse for wear.
“It’s been a tough tournament. Particularly we played the South Okanagan team in game 3, we had to win that one to get into the crossover game this morning and they came out really hitting hard, which kind of worked to their detriment because we’re a bigger team,” he said. “So we ended up with a couple of guys with some lumps and bruises, but it’s one game for provincial championships so they’re taking a couple Advil and icing it and they’re going to be playing.”
Reinbolt and his co-coaches have been telling the team – who are spending the afternoon resting and getting some fresh air in preparation of the game – to carry on the momentum of the year, not get rattled, and watch their penalties.
“If you get yourself in penalty trouble it could be a different game,” he said. “No retaliation penalties in particular, and they’ve been really good about that so far this tournament.
“We’re pretty much telling them that if they play the way they can play, they’re going to be successful. Because we really do feel that we’re the strongest team – there isn’t another team in the tournament that has three solid lines like we do, so if we can get a good effort out of everybody we’re going to be successful.”
Meanwhile, the Terrace Bantam Reps are heading into the bronze medal game at the Tier 3 provincial championships in Port Hardy at 5 p.m., facing off against South Okanagan.
South Okanagan and Terrace battled on the ice yesterday, with the game ending in a 3-2 loss for Terrace. This morning Terrace fell to Whitehorse 3-1 to set up the bronze medal match.
And Terrace’s Myah Bowel, who is playing hockey this year for the Richmond Ravens, is heading into the championship game against Surrey tonight at the Bantam Female provincial championships in Castlegar.
Bowel, who has been a standout on the team all season, has nine goals in the tournament so far.