Warriors win provincials with goal in dying seconds

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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Ingalls scores on short-handed breakaway with 11.4 seconds left for Bantam Tier IIs

It's safe to say that the Moose Jaw Bantam Tier II Warriors will never be happier to play to a tie than they were Tuesday.

Quinn Ingalls scored on a short-handed breakaway with 11.4 seconds left in the third period to earn the Warriors a 2-2 tie with the Saskatoon Wild Outlaws. More importantly the goal gave the Warriors the Saskatchewan Hockey Association's Bantam AA Tier II provincial title.

"It felt amazing. I thought it was a dream. It was the best feeling of my life, I swear," said Ingalls standing amongst his teammates gloves, sticks and helmets strewn across the ice. "I'm dead tired, but that goal made us all excited."

The Warriors won Game 1 of the two-game total goal series by one goal. It was the Wild's only loss of the season.

"It was a great series. Saskatoon is a great team. They play so much like we do. It came down to capitalizing on mistakes and we were able to capitalize in the last 10 seconds there," said Warriors head coach Todd Cole.

It looked like overtime was imminent in Game 2 when Ingalls stripped a Wild defenceman of the puck and sped away on a breakaway before beating the Wild goalie high to the glove side to set off a wild celebration.

"I was thinking 'I better score. If I miss and let down my team…,'" said Ingalls. "It was great play by my teammates to force him to the middle and then I just poked it out and went on a breakaway.

"The team played great today. It was a big team effort."

When asked about his team's character, Cole quipped that his group had a lot of characters, but he had nothing but praise for his young men.

"They're a great group of kids. I've coached a lot of these kids for four or five years now. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for them and they've obviously done a lot for me. I'm very, very proud of these kids," said Cole.

Moose Jaw had won the Pee Wee AA Tier II provincial titles in 2011 and 2012.

"I think half of the kids have won provincials in Pee Wee Tier II, but we lost out in our league final that year," said Cole.

"This year I told the kids my goal was a provincial title and a league title. I said that is something that can never be taken from you. You can be 40 years old and your name will still be on that banner hanging in the rink. Now their names are going to be up there and they're going to be up there forever."

Ashton Woodley scored late in the first period to give the Warriors a little breathing room. Ingalls and Nicholas Marotta picked up assists.

Saskatoon's Jackson Mayerle scored his second goal of the second period with seven seconds left to give the Outlaws a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.

Both teams entered the third period needing a goal to clinch the series.

"We wanted it to be their best 20 minutes," said Cole. "We were treating it like a 0-0 game and we wanted to win the period."

The Warriors killed off a four-minute checking to the head penalty in the middle of the period and then they were given a two-minute minor with two minutes left.

"We've had an awful lot of penalties all year. It's unfortunate that we play like that, but we do have a good penalty kill," said Cole.

The Warriors were coming off of a 4-1 win over Regina in the deciding game of their league semifinal.

"I'm very happy for the boys. We played three games in three nights — three hard games — and to come out with a win like this is great," said Cole.

The Warriors still have more to achieve. They host Estevan Friday (7 p.m., Base Arena) in Game 1 of their best-of-three league championship series.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Hockey Association

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Regina

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