The Williams Lake Midget Tier 2 Timberwolves, despite having several key players out of action due to injury, brought home a fourth-place finish from the BC Hockey Provincial Championships last week.
In their first game of championship Williams Lake came out flat against an Aldergrove team that would end up undefeated and the eventual provincial champions.
Williams Lake tallied first but Aldergrove piled on the goals from there in a 9-2 win.
Braden Boyd and William Paynton scored for the T-wolves in the losing effort, while Hayden Lyons and Dylan Derose split the game in goal.
Game two saw Williams Lake look like a completely different team, knowing another loss would mean the end of the playoff hopes, and dominated almost the entire game before giving up three late goals in a 7-5 win over Campbell River.
Cody Swan (2G, 2A), Paynton (1G, 1A) and Corey Loring (1G) led the way for the T-wolves with Spencer Neufeld adding the final goal. Derose picked up the win between the pipes for Williams Lake.
Next, against a strong Mission team, Williams Lake knew a win would put them into the tournament semifinals. The Timberwolves came out strong and wound up with a 4-2 win.
Again, Swan (2G), Paynton (1G, 1A) and Loring (1G) each had strong games, while Lyons was in goal for the win.
The semifinal game saw the T-wolves matched up with a very fast and skilled team from Vernon.
Williams Lake got out to an early lead and held on until late in the third period when Vernon tied the game at 1-1.
The Timberwolves had numerous chances to go ahead but couldn’t beat a stingy Vernon netminder.
Vernon then pulled ahead with just minutes left in the third and scored a late goal to cap off the 3-1 win.
Paynton notched the long goal for Williams Lake, while Lyons was strong in net, despite the result.
The defeat put the T-wolves in the bronze-medal game against the host team, Prince George, just hours after the previous game.
Williams Lake, exhausted both mentally and physically from the previous effort, fell behind quickly and never recovered despite a late rush, losing 5-3.
Brett Hare scored twice for the T-wolves with Neufeld adding the other marker. Lyons played in goal for the team’s final game.
A team representative said the fourth-place finish was quite an accomplishment for the team. Players and coaches gave everything they had despite being short manned by injuries. Williams Lake should be extremely proud of the effort the team put forward and the manner in which they carried themselves throughout the tournament.