CONTRIBUTION · 25th March 2012
After waltzing through the round robin and semi final portion of the provincial championships in Burnaby the Terracidians found themselves in a rematch of the 2011 provincial final against the Quesnel Thunder.
The first period was an evenly played affair as both teams traded chances and both goaltenders were solid. Terrace finally broke the ice in the final 6 minutes of the period when Keaton Gordon won a faceoff back to Colin Bell who fired a hard wrist shot that hit someone and found the back of the net. Gordon got credit for the goal. Moments later Bell found Gordon who was flying down the wing and sent him in on a 2 on 1 with Fred Mowatt. Gordon sent a saucer pass over to Mowatt but in desperation a Quesnel defenceman inadvertantly knocked the puck into his own net while trying to break up the pass. The first period ended 2-0 for Terrace on two lucky bounces.
Midway through the second period Bell (who has had an incredible season collecting more than 150 points in less than 50 games) added to the lead before Quesnel closed the gap scoring a nice goal off the rush. Gordon added another on the power play late in the period when he picked up a rebound off the end boards and scored on the wrap around to give Terrace a seemingly insurmountable lead heading into the third period. It was a 4-1 game but the score was definitely not indicative of the play. Dion Johnston had made numerous good saves in the first 2 periods to preserve the lead. Both teams traded lots of offensive chances.
Terrace opened the third stanza on a power play where Bell scored on a hard wrister from the point to increase the lead to 5-1.Then the momentum completely swung the opposite way as Jessie Roach of the Thunder scored three straight goals to close the gap to 5-4. He singlehandedly picked his team up and carried them. He was unstoppable. With 6 minutes to go in the game Quesnel got the equalizer. With three minutes to go Terrace had a great chance to restore the lead but it wasn't meant to be. The Thunder completed their amazing comeback with 2 minutes and 30 seconds to go. As hard as they tried the boys could not generate another opportunity.
It was an absolutely devastating end to an amazing season. The kids desperately wanted to win it for their coach Jesse Schroeder. Schroeder is one of, if not the best coaches Terrace minor hockey has ever had. This was to be his last game coaching as he is now stepping away. Jesse put a tremendous amount of time and effort into each practice. You rarely saw the same practice twice. He always had new and more challenging drills. He was not only a great coach for these boys but he was a tremendous role model as well. He wasn't just making good hockey players, he was creating good citizens. He will now step away to raise his young family. If he parents anything like he coaches he will be an amazing father.
Rob Bell and Trevor Shannon also put in a great deal of time with this group of kids and often didn't get the credit they deserved. They have both been very good natured as I have taken many sarcastic shots at both of them.
The parents of the team also want to thank Albert Vandevelde for driving the bus and getting the team to and from the tournaments safely. Also to the food ladies Deirdre Albright and Cindy Motschilnig (hope I spelled that right) who did an amazing job preparing terrific meals on each and every road trip. By the end of the season most parents gained 10 pounds. (Although one parent was quite upset that tacos were not included in the menu for the provincials.) A special thank you goes out to Ben Genaille from the Terrace hockey team for creating a culinary masterpiece for the team on Wednesday night. Also the team would like to thank Ryan Shannon for his kind donation of food. It was greatly appreciated.
This was a tough article to write.