The Langley Lumberjacks came alive in sudden death to capture the ninth annual Battle for the Sound Tournament, held Jan. 17-19 in Bremerton, Wash.
In an all-Canadian match-up, the local bantam C hockey squad clipped New Westminster 2-1 in sudden death overtime to win gold at the annual tournament that this year attracted eight teams from the Lower Mainland, six from Washington State, and two from Oregon.
En route to the final, the Lumberjacks cruised through the round robin with 7-1 wins over both Semiahmoo and Portland, and a 12-1 rout of the host team from Bremerton.
In the semifinal, the Lumberjacks faced a Coquitlam team that was also undefeated.
This game was not close as the Lumberjacks posted their first shutout of the tournament, winning 5-0 to earn their spot in the gold medal match.
In the final, the local bantams faced their toughest opponent yet, from New Westminster.
This game was a close, tight-checking affair that remained scoreless after two periods. Both goaltenders made numerous outstanding saves to keep the game knotted at zeros.
New West broke the ice first, scoring with just five minutes remaining.
It didnâ€™t look good for the local squad, until Zack Bender rifled a shot from the point that found the mark with 1:07 left on the clock, just as his team was getting ready to pull its goalie.
The game ended 1-1 and needed overtime to determine a winner.
Three minutes in to the extra frame, Nick Thiesen came around the net and picked the short side top corner to seal the comeback win for the Lumberjacks, sending his teammates spilling onto the ice in celebration.
The victory capped off a great month of January for the Langley squad, which had just won the Aldergrove New Yearâ€™s Eve tournament two weeks earlier.