Nighthawks skate to Ice Breaker championship
The Okanagan Nighthawks celebrated their Ice Breaker tournament win by passing the trophy around and showing off their gold medals.
Nighthawks (2007-born players) coach Rod Kenney said his players were ecstatic to win the tournament, 6-2 over the Okanagan Allstars from Kelowna, Sunday afternoon at Memorial Arena.
Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Nighthawks scored six unanswered goals in the final two periods to take home the title.
Liam Ruck and Brodie Kenney each scored a pair for the Nighthawks, while Isaac Finer and Mathis Preston each added singles. Jorja Moore was solid in goal preserving the win by making many key saves at key moments, including a point-blank opportunity when the score was 3-2 with five minutes remaining in the game. Danica Maynard was named game MVP for the Nighthawks.
“We stayed calm even when we were down and just stuck to our game plan, but also increased our pressure on the puck,” said Kenney, on what helped them erase the deficit. “The kids really came through when we needed them to. Our forwards were relentless and our defence and goalie shut the door.”
Kenney liked that his players worked hard for each other and the group has become close in a short period of time.
“We have some great friendships forming and ultimately that is what this is about,” he said.
The Nighthawks went undefeated in the preliminary round with ties against the Allstars 5-5, the Knights of West Kelowna 8-8 and Kamloops Ice Pirates 4-4. They defeated the Calgary Havoc 8-5 before advancing to the championship game.
Tournament goal scorers were Kenney with nine, Ruck, Preston and Everett Seeley with five, Marcus Ruck with three, Finer and Will Mohns with a pair each.