Morning Star Staff
Runners-up in the regular season, The Green Pub Moose found another level in the post season.
Brad Kowalski scored twice as the Moose stopped the first-place Spartan Auto Bulls 5-4 in a shootout Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place for a sweep in the best-of-three Boston Pizza Hockey League championship series.
Mat Lambert and Steve Vallier both beat Bulls’ goalie Travis Corrie in the shootout, while former Maine Black Bear defenceman Jeff Mushaluk and Taylor Jackson failed to solve Moose netminder James Scherck in the penalty shots.
The Bulls (24-6) led 3-2 at the ice clean on snipes from Kevin Beckner, Mushaluk and Troy Blais. Kowalski supplied both goals for the Moose, assisted by Vallier and Tim Proctor.
Vallier put the Moose ahead at 11:16 of the second half, from Proctor and Mike Boyarski. The Bulls took the lead at 6:46 with Blais converting from Corrie.
Cory Hewko equalized 32 seconds later, assists going to ex-Merritt Centennial d-man Aaron Hoffman and Vallier.
Mushaluk collected two helpers. The Bulls took nine minor penalties, while the Moose received five. The Moose held a 29-28 edge in shots on goal.
Dave Higgins, Keith Green, Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell, Mike Weir, Dave Penner, Cory Hug and Scott Kowalski rounded out the Moose roster. Green said plans for a downtown victory parade on fire trucks are in the works.
The Moose went undefeated in the double-knockout playoffs, beating the Bulls three times.
All Native Challenge Cup starts today
The 11th Annual All Native Nk’maplqs Hockey Challenge Cup goes in Vernon today through Sunday with 23 teams at all three main arenas.
“This is one of the largest hockey tournaments in B.C. and will give our communities an excellent opportunity to showcase our hospitality, commerce, and prosperity to the entire province,” said tourney director Keith Louis.
First place in the men’s Competitive Division is worth $3,000 and jackets, while the second place team receives $2,000 and T-shirts. Third place gets $1,000 and ball caps. There are eight teams in Comeptive, six in Masters and seven in Rec.
The first Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup All Native Tournament was held in 2005 and organized by late Jay D. Louis, Kevin Ned, Keith Louis, Shelly Mitchell and Brad Steel from Rec Excellence, with 11 teams in Competitive and Recreation divisions.
The Westside Bears meet Enderby Blackhawks today at 5:45 p.m. (Priest Valley) in the Rec category. The Okanagan T-Birds play the Chase Hackers at 5:45, Civic, while the Vernon T-Birds face the winner of Statlimc Ice Hawks-Williams Lake Young Nation at 4 p.m. (Kal Tire) in the Competitive.