TISDALE — The Tisdale Trojans are the Western Canadian champions.
With a 6-5 OT decision, the host team won the Telus Cup Western Regionals against the Thunder Bay Kings at the championship game on April 7.
“I feel just unbelievable,” said Trojans centre David Wiens. “Just to win this is a huge achievement. It doesn’t happen every day,” he said. “All of the guys were pumped and we worked hard for this moment. It finally happened and I think it’s well-deserved.”
Darrell Mann, the Trojans' coach, said it felt so good to win, in front of their home crowd performing the way they did.
“To be able to battle back, win in overtime and get the win, it’s just an unbelievable feeling.”
In the first period, it was Thunder Bay’s Nikolas Campbell that scored first. That was followed by a goal by the Trojans’ Cade Hayes, but Thunder Bay’s Christian Veneruzzo then got ahead again with a power play goal. Jayden Wiens then tied things up with the Trojans to end the period.
Thunder Bays’ Campbell and Veneruzzo then scored two goals in the first moments of the second period. The Trojans then answered back with three goals by Wiens, Trenton Curtis and Dawson Schaff.
The Trojans were leading in the third period, but with 10 seconds to go, Thunder Bay’s Campbell scored, tying up the game.
Schaff of the Trojans then scored the winning goal within two minutes of overtime.
Mann said his team’s perseverance was a strength for the final.
“We were down 4-2, we battled back to make it 5-4. They tied it up late but we still found a way in overtime to get the big goal.”
Mann said the opposition Kings had great goal tending.
“They worked hard. They forced us right until the end. We have a lot of shots, 43 shots. Full credit to their hockey team. We’ll be seeing them in a couple of weeks at their home hosting the Telus Cup.”
The coach said the team is ready for the national, with only a few minor refinements required.
“We have two weeks off before we go to Thunder Bay. We’ll have to make sure we have our guys rested and ready to roll.”