Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A Wild finale for AAA Midgets

Win championship in double-OT thriller

  • Print

The final goal in Sunday's double-overtime battle between the Winnipeg Wild and the Winnipeg Thrashers wasn't a fancy snipe, wasn't even the prettiest goal in the white-knuckle game.

But it was the one that mattered most. It was the one that sent the Wild's sticks and gloves flying into the air and clattering across the Gateway Recreation Centre ice. It was the one that crowned them champions of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League with a 4-3 victory.

For more than 70 minutes of play, the two teams battled, tired legs gunning for one more hit, one last goal, a little more ice. The Wild, who led the best-of-five series 2-1, were hoping to clinch the title. The Thrashers were fighting to keep their championship hopes alive.

In the first minute of double-overtime, the game was tied at three. With Thrashers defenceman Ryan Gardiner in the box for hooking, the Wild started on the power play. A shot struck Thrashers goalie Troy Martyniuk, who had robbed the Wild a few times in the game.

There was a rebound. Martyniuk was down. The puck came to Wild forward Jackson Keane's stick, and at 19:07, he took a shot that didn't miss.

"I just tried to get a shot on net, and it was a perfect shot," a breathless Keane said later as his teammates lifted their index fingers for one championship photo after another.

Keane almost didn't have the chance to fire the winner. For awhile, it seemed the Thrashers would force a game 5. They were ahead 3-2 with under a minute left in regulation, thanks to a hat trick by captain Alex Keena.

But with just 53 seconds left to play and the Wild's goalie watching from the bench, Wild forward Jake Dudar found the puck in a scramble and sent it into the Thrashers' net for the 3-3 tie.

"We picked the guy to go out, and he was due," Wild coach Paul Krueger said. "I'm really proud of these guys. They battled really hard and they worked for it."

Shawn Pachet picked up the assist on the game-tying goal.

In the end, the game could have gone either way; it had before, when the teams split the first two tilts of the series and came down to a 4-3 overtime nail-biter on Friday to put the Wild one game ahead. Thrashers coach Dan Eliasson said he was proud of his team's fight and praised the Wild for theirs. Krueger returned the praise.

"It was the toughest series I've been involved in," Krueger said. "Every game was down to the wire. It was just really hard-fought on both sides. The (Thrashers) gave us everything they had, we gave them everything we had."

Now the Wild will head to Kenora in April for the Telus Regional Championship after a quick rest.

With one war behind them, they're ready for the next.

"We all have confidence," Keane said. "We just got to play the same way we've been playing. We're a hard-working team and we've got lots of skill, and that's what we're going to bring to regionals."

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 25, 2013 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Police: Three or four infants' bodies found in storage locker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.
  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google