Arriving just in time to watch the close of the third period of the West Kootenay Peewee playoffs on Sunday was a real treat, the perfect way to come back home to Nakusp after a few weeks away.
Nakusp was home to the league playoffs from Feb. 24-26, which saw seven teams visiting our town: Nelson 1 and 2, Castlegar 1 and 2, Rossland/Trail 2 (the Wildcats, an all-girl team), Beaver Valley, and Boundary. Unfortunately, Rossland/Trail 1 decided to sit this one out.
Games were played starting Friday and ran until Sunday afternoon when the final game decided who would take home the West Kootenay banner.
The crowd’s excitement could be heard through the walls even before my friend and I were inside the arena doors on Sunday. It was Nelson 2 versus Nakusp in the finals and it sounded like everyone was losing their heads watching a really great game.
And it was a great game, pretty much as good as it gets. The teams were well-matched in skills, and both teams had a couple of taller players that had already started sprouting up in the mix as well.
The players sped over the ice, fighting for the puck and manoeuvering quickly around and sometimes over each other to get to the goal. Even with good defence, both goalies saved their fair share of shots.
With one eye on the ice and another looking through the camera viewfinder, and not much skill as a sports reporter, I can’t tell you who did what exactly when. What I can tell you was that Nakusp pulled ahead by one goal in the second half of the third period to make the score 4-3, only to have Nelson tie it up with 17 seconds remaining in the game.
Five on five overtime resulted in no change in score, so on to the final option: shoot out. Nakusp’s first shot went wide, but Nelson’s didn’t get in either. Both players who were up next for the teams made their shots, but Nakusp got a second one in and the Peewee Falcons erupted from the bench.
Helmets and gloves and sticks rained down, and the crowd supplied the thunder for the storm of excitement that took place on the ice and in the stands. The feeling of pride and accomplishment was overwhelming. Once the noise died down, the announcement that the Falcons had won the banner was officially made, and the team carried their hard-won pennant around the rink in victory.
Congratulations to the Nakusp Peewee Falcons, and thanks for such a great home game victory!