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Yorkton Terriers rally to win RBC Junior A championship in overtime
Derek Falloon never saw the biggest goal he’s ever scored in hockey go in the net. But he’ll hear about it forever.
Falloon stuffed the puck through Carleton Place Canadians’ goalie Guillaume Therien’s pads and the disc just trickled over the goal line at 15:01 of the first sudden-death overtime period to lift the Yorkton Terriers to a 4-3 win in the RBC Cup Canadian Junior A hockey championship in front of a partisan Yorkton crowd of 2,500 fans Sunday at Kal Tire Place.
It’s Yorkton’s first-ever national championship and it comes in their fifth appearance in the tournament. They lost the 2006 championship final in Streetsville, Ont. to Kyle Turris and the Burnaby Express.
“I won the face-off, it went back to our d-man, he shot it on net and I just jammed it five-hole,” smiled Falloon, the 21-year-old toast of Russell, Man. and second cousin to former NHL star Pat Falloon, of his tournament winner. “I never saw the puck go in as their goalie was in the way.”
The last time the RBC Cup final went to overtime was in 1995 in Gloucester, Ont., when the host Rangers lost 5-4 to the Calgary Canucks.
It was the 5-foot-7 Falloon’s second overtime goal of the 2014 tournament. He scored in extra time to give the Saskatchewan champs a 2-1 win over the Dauphin Kings in Yorkton’s final round robin game Thursday, which clinched a semifinal berth.
Carleton Place was three minutes away from winning the RBC Cup for the first time in its first-ever tournament appearance, leading 3-1. But goals eight seconds apart by Tanner Lishchynsky at 17:12, and Dylan Johnson at 17:20, tied the game for Yorkton.
The Canadians survived a Yorkton power play early in overtime when Carleton Place forward Brett D’Andrea was whistled for a blow to the head.
Terriers forward Brett Boehm came within inches of being the hero a minute before Falloon’s marker as he slid the puck under Therien’s arm. However, the puck hugged the goal line and went past the far post. Carleton Place, the East region champions, snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period with goals from Stephen Baylis and CJHL Player of the Year Andy Sturtz, one of 12 Canadians with NCAA scholarships for next fall.
The Canadians opened the scoring at 9:21 of the first period on a marker from fifth-year player Anthony McVeigh. Yorkton tied it up six minutes later on a goal by Daylan Gatzke.
Falloon on the Terriers’ 0-2 start: “We started off rough but we believed in ourselves, we built momentum all the way through, we kept believing and we found a way.”
Biggest ovation when Yorkton was receiving their medals went to former Vernon Viper Riley Hunt, of Revelstoke.
“That was cool. The fans here have been great to me. It’s kind of a dream when you think about it. I was here three years ago and thought I was going to play for a national championship with Vernon. It didn’t work out here but it’s funny how things do work out. It’s surreal to be hoisting the championship trophy in this building.”
Carleton Place is 46 kilometres west of Ottawa and coach Jason Clarke has put the Canadians on the hockey map.
"It was a great season for us,” said Clarke, whose club went 54-6-1-1. "Our program is not an easy program to play in. It’s a pretty structured program, the grind we put kids through day in and day out, and you have to throw your hats off to them. We're very proud of them, they left it all out on the ice today."
RBC DEPOSITS: It’s the second time the City of Vernon has played host to the national Junior A hockey championship and, both times, the championship game went to overtime. The Vernon Lakers beat the New Westminster Royals 6-5 in the 1990 final at the Civic Arena...The Vipers won the 1999 RBC Cup in Yorkton. The Terriers were eliminated in double overtime in the semifinals by the Charlottetown Abbies...The Terriers’ win Sunday gave the SJHL its first RBC Cup since Humboldt Broncos won it in 2008. It’s the ninth Canadian Junior A Championship for the league...The host teams have failed to advance to the final in three of the last four RBC Cups...The 2015 nationals will be Portage la Prairie, Man. with the Portage Terriers hosts.