The weekend of February 26, friends, family members and the Peewee Falcons headed to Grand Forks for the Peewee hockey playoffs hosted in Midway.
Nakusp faced off against Coeur D’Alene at 4 p.m. on Friday, for the opening of the A pool playoffs. Assistant coach Kyle Grenier said just before the starting game “If we can win against Coeur D’Alene, we have a very good chance winning the banner, as I feel they are the team to beat.”
A nail biter it was. Nakusp was up 6-1, when Coeur D’Alene scored with only minutes left in the second period. Coeur D’Alene came out firing in the third with a total of 62 shots during the game, but the Falcons and goalie Parker Coulthard were able to maintain their lead with a final score of 6-5. Isaac Flamand scored a hat trick while Aidan Hascarl, Ewan Carter and Noah Fizzard got one goal apiece.
The Peewees were up and at it at 5 a.m. the next morning for a 7 a.m. game against Grand Forks. Travelling on icy roads toget to the rink on time had most parents’ nerves shot before the game even started. Everyone was awake when the puck dropped as both teams fought hard, but were unable to get a goal in the first period. Grand Forks scored a goal in the second period, and Noah Fizzard was able to squeak through the tight defense and tie it up with only six minutes left in the third period. As hard as both teams fought for the win, it ended with a 1-1 tie.
Next game was at 2 p.m. against Boundary, so the Falcons were able to get some rest, hydrate and fuel up for the game. Goalie Parker Coulthard was able to maintain a shut out against them, while Isaac Flamand scored two goals, while Ewan Carterand Noah Fizzard got one goal each. Final score 4-0 and the win secured the Falcons’ spot in the semi-finals.
Celebrations were in order, and fun was had that Saturday night with a potluck meal, parking lot football at the hotel and a Grand Forks Bruins Junior B playoff game later that night. Head Coach Wayne Hascarl’s son Logan plays for the Bruins, so the kids (and parents) had a blast cheering for the Nakusp local.
Nakusp Falcons had to face off against Coeur D’Alene once more in the semi-final game at 12:45 Sunday afternoon. The Peewee’s were ready for them beat them once again by one goal. Falcons fans were vibrating in the stands, and some happy tears were shed, as they battled in one of the most intense games of the year. Isaac Flamand got his second hat trick of the weekend and Ewan Carter scored his third goal in the playoffs. Final score 4-3. Falcons fought their way and played for the A pool banner at 4:45 p.m. that afternoon against Grand Forks.
There was an eerie calm amongst the players and parents as they hung around the arena, waiting for the most important gameof the year. They watched the final B pool game against Nelson and Castlegar 1-1, which ended in a shootout. Falcons were cheering for the underdog Nelson team, and celebrated with them as they won the B pool banner.
At 4:30 p.m. the puck dropped to a roaring crowd, chanting “Go Falcons Go!”
And they did just that. Isaac Flamand scored the opening goal of the game in the first period, and a second goal that was waved off by the linesman, a very questionable call that sparked fury on the Nakusp bench and amongst the crowd.Grand Forks then scored three goals in a row and had a 3-1 lead going into the third. With only 10 minutes left in the game, Aidan Hascarl danced through the seeming impenetrable wall and brought the score to a one goal difference. This seemed to spark up the Falcons as they took control of the puck for the duration of the game, and Noah Fizzard was able to score the tying goal with only minutes left in the game. This was Noah’s fourth goal of the playoffs. The game went into overtime which didn’t produce any goals, and to the dreaded shootout it was.
Nakusp fans went wild. Everyone was on the edge of their seats as sharp shooter Isaac Flamand was first to shoot for the Falcons, and scored. Parker Coulthard was able to hold back the next five shots by the Grand Forks team with one goal going in, but being waved off by the linesman as no goal. Falcons leaped off their bench in celebration, with gloves and helmets strewn all over the ice. Parents and fans were in hysterics, to the enormous disappointment of being told by the referee they were not the winners yet, as they allowed the waved off goal. Much confusion and disappointment ensued, and Grand Forks scored giving them the win and the banner. It was a tremendously hard loss to swallow, as the Peewees, coaches, parents,family and friends felt it was due to bad officiating, and not a fair loss.
The Nakusp Peewee Falcons are the winners, maybe not of the banner (this year), but in every other way possible. They have come a long way from the beginning of the season, to playing for the A pool banner. Each and every one of them played their best game possible. They might not all be the fastest and most skilled players in the league, but they play with so much heart that they are a force to be reckoned with. Watch out next year!