The Rideout Construction Midget Chiefs hockey team worked double overtime to win the Division 3 Island Championship banner.
The Comox Valley team was playing a best-of-three championship series with Nanaimo, with the final and deciding game held at the Sports Centre on Sunday, March 5. With supportive fans in the stands, the Chiefs opened the scoring four minutes into the game with a quick shot from Adam Dame, set up nicely by Tyler Odland.
The play was back and forth throughout the first until Dame connected again with less than a minute left on passes from Braden MacDonald and Travis MacLean to put the Chiefs ahead 2-0 at the first ice clean.
Nanaimo replied immediately in the second, but that was all the offence they could muster and the Chiefs remained ahead 2-1 after two complete periods.
The third was a see-saw battle on the scoreboard. The Chiefs struck first with their third marker from James Jerczynski (Dayton Nixon/ Colton Jeffery) who wove his way through the defence and slid the puck past the Nanaimo netminder.
A minute later, Nanaimo replied, then followed up almost immediately to tie the game. The visitors went ahead midway through the third, but Dareion McPherson-Zaruk poured on the pressure resulting in two quick goals: assists to Dayton Nixon (2) Macdonald and McLean. With only three minutes left in the game, Nanaimo tied up the score once again. The score after regulation time was 5-5.
The teams faced off for a 10-minute sudden death overtime period, but the score remained knotted at five, forcing a third ice clean, some rest for both sides, and the prospect of a further 20-minute OT period.
Again, both teams played through 10 minutes of the fifth period of hockey scoreless, untill MacDonald fed McPherson-Zaruk in front of the Nanaimo net. He made no mistake in potting his hat trick to win the game and the Division 3 banner. Kyler McAllister earned the win in net for the Chiefs, who posted a well-played and well-deserved 6-5 victory.
“The players thank coaches Bob Jeffery, Kurt MacDonald and Dave Shultz, and the senior players Colton Jeffery, Dayton Nixon and Blayne Widner for their leadership throughout the season,” a team spokesperson said. “Of course, a big thank you to our sponsor Wayne Rideout of Rideout Construction for his support throughout the season.”
ICE CHIPS The team also includes Wyatt Venduyf, Bryan Pawlina, Tyler Shaver, Adam Dame, Dareion Zaruk, Travis MacLean, Tyler Odland, James Jerczynski, Kyle Hedican, Bretton Gable, Devon Harvey, Jeff Shultz, Kyle LeBlanc, Braden MacDonald, Keegan McGinn, Jeff Bay and Kyler McAllister … the Midget Tier 2 Chiefs will play their final hockey games at the Cowichan tournament over spring break …