The Rossland-Trail 3 Atoms took home the championship in an intense back-and-forth final versus the competitive Beaver Valley 2 team.
The playoffs were held in Nakusp this past weekend (March 4–6) with teams coming in from all around the Interior.
Nakusp didn’t fare well in the end, losing all three games they had against Beaver Valley 2, Boundary and Beaver Valley 1.
Crystal Volanksy of Nakusp Minor Hockey said each game was hard fought and the kids didn’t go down without a fight.
“The team has greatly improved this year,” she said.
In the championship game, Rossland-Trail took off with a solid start finishing 2–1 in the first period and holding on to that lead at the start of the second.
But Beaver Valley started putting on the pressure and quickly garnered two more goals by the middle of the second, putting them in the lead at 3–2.
Beaver Valley maintained the upper hand and scored one more goal before the game went into the third period, leaving the game at 4–2.
The game seemed one-sided in favour of Beaver Valley for the most part of the third period.
But then something happened.
Rossland-Trail started skating back harder and harder, getting back into full form and putting pressure on Beaver Valley’s goalie Michael Schlender.
Schlender kept his composure, stopping shot after shot, but with enough pressure Rossland-Trail
was able to shoot the puck through the five-hole to bring the game closer at 4–3.
Going into the last minute and with the puck sitting in Beaver Valley’s end, Rossland-Trail pulled their goalie for the extra attacker.
With the added pressure they scored with 20 seconds left in the third period, forcing the game into sudden-death overtime.
No goals were scored in that five minutes, and the final shots were scored during the nail-biting shootout.
The five-man shootout went down to the very last man.
But Beaver Valley’s first shooter was the only one to score a goal, and Rossland-Trail was able to put two past Schlender to take the championship home.
Nakusp went into the playoffs sitting in sixth place. They played 15 league games this year and played in four tournaments including this final one.
They won their first game in December at the Trail tournament against Rossland-Trail no. 3 with a score of 2–1.