The Rocanville Tigers celebrate with fans after winning game two of Senior B provincial championships against the Drake Canucks in double overtime in Rocanville on March 27. The Tigers tied the game with only 42 seconds left in the third period, with Buddy Smith finally scoring the winning goal five minutes into double overtime. The Tigers went on to win the provincial championship on Sunday, March 29 in Drake. Kim Poole photo

Tigers win Senior B Provincial Championship

April 6, 2015 7:53 am
Julia Dima

The Rocanville Tigers were already celebrating a strong end to their Triangle Hockey League season with the championship win on March 24 against the Langenburg Warriors.

Last weekend, the Tigers got the icing on the cake when they won the Senior B provincial championship against the Drake Canucks.

The teams went into the final with one win each. Game one, which was played in Drake, went to the Canucks, who won 8-6 on March 21.

Game two took the Canucks to Rocanville on March 27. The game was hard-fought, going into double overtime, but the Tigers came out victorious with a 5-4 win in the end.

The Tigers fell behind early in the game. While Brad Hickman scored one goal in the last half of the first period, the Canucks scored a goal as well, and dominated the second period, scoring three more times.

However, the third goal by Brennon Ewen was disallowed since Ewen was supposed to be in the penalty box when the goal was scored, bringing the end of period score back to 3-1 for the Canucks.

Despite that, the Canucks’ Adam Hendry scored a goal in the first quarter of the third period, bringing the Canucks into a three-point lead over the Tigers. But that did not mean the Tigers were quitting.

In the last six minutes of the game, they came back to tie it. Niko Grose scored first, followed up by Stacey Lowes.

It was close to being a 4-3 win for the Canucks, but with 42 seconds left in the game, Niko Grose tied the match, which went into overtime. In the first overtime period, there was no scoring, but five minutes into double overtime, Buddy Smith scored the game-winning goal.

Brad Hickman with the Tigers says that despite being down, they were not about the quit in the match that would get them to the final.

“We had lots of momentum . . . and the rink was packed. It was a great atmosphere, the fan support was amazing, I’ve never seen a rink like that before,” Hickman says. “We were playing for the player beside us—we are a tight-knit group, and we just went to battle for each other.”

The win put the Canucks and Tigers in the final on March 29. Hickman says that game was hard-fought too, with the Canucks taking an early lead.

The Canucks scored the first goal of the game, and the only one of the first period.

“We outshot them in the first period . . . but they scored the one goal in the first period. Nobody was holding their heads or anything, we were still in that positive mood that we could come back,” Hickman says.

And they did. Early in the second period, Devin Leblanc scored a short-handed goal, making it 1-1, and less than five minutes later, Stephane Robidoux scored a power play goal, putting the Tigers in an early second period lead.

In the third period, Buddy Smith scored a power play goal, and with three minutes left in the game, Ryan Regel solidified the Tigers’ championship win with a fourth goal.

Hickman says the team was excited to win the championship.

“It was a great feeling. For everything that this team has been through in the last five years, and with all the hard work that volunteers do, it was kind of the icing on the cake. Rocanville has never been in a provincial final, and just looking at the trophy, I don’t even know if there was a south team that has won the Provincial B title. So, that just shows how tough it is to win, and how good of a team we have. We were always worried about other teams or rosters, but when it came down to it, we were just as good,” he says.

“It’s a good way to end, you always want to end your season off winning the last game. And we were able to do.”