Salmon Arm Blackburn Excavating barely made the top-four playoff tournament before stopping the Corbett Office Supply Storm 8-4 in the North Okanagan Super Midget Hockey League final Monday night at the Shaw Centre.
Salmon Arm led 2-1 at the midway point of the see-saw affair and went ahead on some powerplays in the second half.
“In a one-game final, anything is possible,” said Storm head coach Tim Rayner. “It was an exciting, fast, well-played game by both teams. Our boys worked hard, and did all they could to get there. Salmon Arm were better, and played a great hockey game….they move on to Valleys (hosted by Lumby).”
Minor hockey veterans Jaden Steinke and Tyler Semeniuk each scored twice in a fitting finish to their minor hockey careers.
The Storm grounded the Vernon Authentic Plaque and Trophy Hawks 6-3 in semifinal play Saturday afternoon at Civic Arena, while Salmon Arm surprised pennant-winning Lumby Stars 4-3 at the Shaw Centre.
The Storm took at 4-2 lead into the third and held on as the Hawks forechecked tirelessly in the third period. The deal was closed when Brady Beacom hit the back of the empty net in the final minute. Steinke pulled the hat trick, while Dalton Stenberg and Ben Reinhardt supplied singles in front of a terrific Nick Maglio.
The Hawks got snipes from Keefer Kaempf, Kaden Doughty and Tanner Wright.
The Lumby Stars edged Salmon Arm Jane’s Place 5-4 in overtime in the Bantam top-six final at Civic.
Salmon Arm battled back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game with about two minutes left in the third period. Both teams move on to the Valley Championships in Lillooet next month.
In Sicamous, the Vernon DCT Chambers Vikings defeated the Salmon Arm No Frills Buckeroos 4-1 in the Bantam bottom three final.
“We had a tough year but truly started coming together and figured out our groove,” said Vikings’ head coach Chad Rachwalski. “We went into playoffs with very few wins under our belt but we worked hard to make it to this final game.”
The Pee Wee top-six final saw the Lumby Stars shaded the Salmon Arm Askew’s Foods 4-3 in double overtime in a thriller at Civic. The Stars advance to the Valley championships in Clearwater next month.
In Armstrong, in the Atom top-six final before a large crowd at Nor-Val Sports Centre, the North Okanagan Knights fell 5-4 to the Vernon Interior Savings Coyotes. The Coyotes will represent the region in the Valley playdowns in Princeton next month.
Vernon Lakeside Printing Yellow Jackets iced the Vernon Summit Financial Black Knights 4-2 in the Atom top-three final at Nor-Val.
“We only had three wins in league play throughout the whole season, but when it came to the playoffs, the kids put everything they’ve been taught over the whole season together and went undefeated in six games,” said Yellow Jackets’ head coach Derek Anderson. “They won in the semifinals in double OT. These kids were such a great example of how to work together as a team and never give up, I’m very proud of each kid on the team.”