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CONTRIBUTION · 5th March 2012
Cam Gordon
The McCarthy Gm Terrace Bantam Rep hockey team is now one step closer to defending their provincial title after a dominating performance this past weekend in the Skeena Valley Zone playdowns in Smithers.

The Terrace squad opened the playdowns Saturday morning at 6 am against the home town, Smithers Storm. One can only presume the game was at 6 am as the 4 am time slot must have been booked.

The boys got off to a terrific start in game 1 as they charged out to a first period lead of 4 to 1. Fred Mowatt , Colin Bell with 2 and Carter Shannon did the damage. Colin Bell completed a hat trick in the second to build the lead to 5-1. Smithers came out very determined in the third period as they have done all year and mounted a tremendous comeback. They capitalized on some miscues and turned it into a game.

Smithers made it 5-3 midway thru the third and when Ryan Kawinsky made it 6-3 Smithers added 2 more in the final 6 minutes to make it uncomfortable. But the Terrace boys held on for the crucial victory. Thomas Bothello picked up the win between the pipes for Terrace.

In their second game, Terrace faced off against a tired and depleted team from Prince Rupert. Terrace easily won 17-0.

One highlight from this game was a goal by Liam (the human missile) Albright. He one timed a Jack Lofroth saucer pass into the top corner late in the third to make the score 15-0. There are some hockey experts who believe the 14-0 lead is the worst lead in hockey.

The win secured a spot in the zone final with one Round Robin game remaining.

Dion Johnson picked up the shutout in the Terrace nets. The scoring was all spread out for the Kermodeis’ as every forward picked up at least a goal. Carter Shannon, Keaton Gordon, Bell and Lofroth all had 5 point games. Lofroth had a hatrick and Connor Onstein had 4 points.

In a meaningless game for both teams Terrace took on a steadily improving, well coached team from Kitimat. They were the only Skeena Valley team to beat Terrace this year in league play. In the end the Kermodeis’ rattled off a 10-2 victory. Ryan Kawinsky led the way with a hatrick and Shannon picked up 4 points. Again the scoring was spread around.

Terrace found themselves in the final against the home town squad on Sunday afternoon against a well coached Smithers team that had seemed to gain ground on the Terrace team all year. But today it wasn’t meant to be for the home town squad.

Coach Jesse Schroeder delivered an inspiring speech and assistant coach Rob (saved by the) Bell delivered an emotional rendition of the Scottish national anthem to fire the boys up.

They came out and played, by far, their best period of the season. Hunter (Gatherer) Johnson scored a minute in, on a laser beam wrister. The line of Bell, Gordon and Mowatt struck everything in sight and added 3 more goals. The Lofrothian one was a one man wrecking crew as he hit everything in sight and created chance after chance in what might have been his best game of the year.

The first period ended 5-0 Terrace as the Kermodei parents let out a huge sigh of relief. The boys added to the lead in the second as Cole (lil Rudy) Mottschelnig roofed a slapshot from the point . Terrace added to lead in third to make it 7-0. Smithers broke Dion Johnsons shutout bid with 6 minutes to go after the puck took a strange bounce off the end boards and careened out in front to a waiting Smithers forward. The final 2 minutes included a mini brouhaha that had 5 players ejected, which included a melee where Cole (I am not spelling that last name again) was jumped by a pair of Smithers forwards. He might be one of the smallest players on the team but the opposing players learned pretty quickly he was also the toughest. The Kawinskian one also completed his Gordie Howe hatrick in the scrum with a fighting penalty.

In the end Terrace had too much depth but Smithers still had them worried. Dion Johnson picked up the win between the pipes with another solid performance. Smithers definitely had some skillful players as Brendan Moore is a wonderful skater, Riley Coish is a gritty determined player and the Steenhoff boy might be the best defenceman in northern B.C. for his age.

The defenceman for Terrace played terrific all weekend. Mike Denomme, Eric (wooden skates) Vandevelde, Cole, Colton Stark, Clark Matthews and Tanner Braid were solid defensively and moved the puck patiently.

The Terrace squad will now spend the next few weeks preparing for their trip to Burnaby for the tier 3 provincials where they will try and defend last years title