Kaslo Minor Hockey was host to 10 teams in the Atom B playoffs this month with two West Kootenay Minor Hockey Association championship banners on the line.
All 20 games were exciting but nothing could prepare any of the fans for the exhilarating finishes in both banner games.
Spokane was playing Boundary (Midway and area) for the championship banner. It was tied at one, taking the teams into a five-minute sudden death overtime, still tied after the five minutes, and went to a shoot out. Boundary went on to win the banner!
Kaslo was playing Grand Forks in the championship game for the other banner.
Grand Forks fans had brought their trumpet, drum and cowbells to cheer on their players, so Kaslo’s fans had no choice but to out cheer them with their voices.
Grand Forks started the scoring off with a hard shot from the point. Ember Hartland tied it up for Kaslo. At the end of the second period, with the second Kaslo goal scored by Elijah Havers, Grand Forks was still up by a goal. Hartland for Kaslo was able to tie it in the third and it stayed at three goals each until the buzzer. Five minute sudden death overtime was upon them.
The Kaslo arena was teeming with loud, cheering fans, from grandparents, and schoolmates to moms, dads and neighbours.
“Go, Kaslo, go!” was being chanted almost loud enough to raise the barn roof. With two minutes left on the clock, Havers took the puck and skated end to end and ripped a shot, top corner to win the game for his team!
Kaslo’s bench quickly flooded onto the ice and celebrated a fantastic win. The home team crowd went wild!
Dave Zarikoff, West Kootenay Minor Hockey Association Atom governor went on the ice with the banner and gave a brief speech about the amazing hockey played in Kaslo that weekend before he presented the hard-sought-after banner to the Kaslo team.
Kaslo and District Minor Hockey thanks all the many loud and supportive fans, the officials who came over from adjacent associations and the local officials, all the teams for being part of this momentous weekend and the efficient arena staff.
The Kaslo Winterhawks Atom team could not have had the year they did without their great coaches: Chad Jones, and Lindsay McKinnon.
The next Kaslo Minor Hockey event will be the awards night in April.