An overtime unassisted goal by local hockey product Cole Zimmerman gave the 100 Mile House Wranglers a 3-2 victory over the AGI Insurance Quakers and the right to hoist the Keystone Cup on April 17.
Now, the Wranglers are not only the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) champions and the British Columbia Junior B (Cyclone Taylor Cup) champions, but the boys from 100 Mile House also lassoed the Western Canada Championship (Keystone Cup).
Fans knew this third-year team was special, and now people as far away as Thunder Bay, Ont. and all through the West know these 22 lads, who have represented 100 Mile House so well with their respect and their community-mindedness, never give up and they will work hard every minute of every game.
Wranglers’ bench boss Dale “Duner” Hladun, who coached the VIJHL Comox Valley Kings in the early 2000s, built a playoff team that had toughness, grit, determination and a large helping of a will to win – and they tore through the post season like a tsunami.
However, there was a little bit of nail biting when the Quakers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period Sunday in Regina. They had defeated the Wranglers 6-4 the previous evening.
However, the Wranglers came back with two of their own.
Ryan Friesen, who was named the star of the game, found the back of the net at 19:44 of the second period, with the assist going to Zimmerman.
Zimmerman got the tying goal on a power play at 6:30 with the assists going to Michael Lynch and Brett Harris, another 100 Mile hockey product.
There was no scoring in the third period.
At 17:25 of overtime, Zimmerman dented the twine on a great unassisted goal, and it was time for the Wranglers to throw their sticks, gloves and helmets and start a group celebration.
Zane Steeves was outstanding again between the pipes and recorded the victory by stopping 38 of 40 Quaker shots.