For the first time ever, the North Shore Rebels are South Coast Women’s Hockey League provincial champions.
The Rebels edged the Richmond Devils 3-2 in the league final on Sunday (March 27) inside the Hope and District Recreation Centre.
Shannon Morris-Reade helped the Rebels capture the championship in dramatic fashion, scoring the game winner with just four seconds remaining.
The two teams were scoreless after one and tied 1-1 after two, but offence for both teams rumbled late in the game. North Shore’s Ashley Jukich put the Rebels up 2-1 with 2:33 remaining, but Richmond’s Reagan Chadwick scored 77 seconds the goalie pulled to tie the game up. Morris-Reade then became the hero with seconds left.
Chadwick and North Shore’s Elexa Pakozdy scored in the second period.
“It’s been great for us, starting this league a few years ago to winning the championship, it’s a great feeling,” stated Jukich, adding the Rebels didn’t take the sixth-seed Devils lightly. “They’ve been playing well all tournament and they beat one of the top teams in the league in the (Fraser Valley) Jets on Friday. We knew we would have to play well, and we did.”
North Shore and Richmond entered the tournament as the only two teams involved to have never won a provincial Championship. North Shore ended the drought in just their third full season of competition.
Rebels goalie Cassidy Hendricks made 16 saves to earn the win, while Richmond goalie Jenna Ehling stopped 30 shots in the loss.
Richmond had an impressive playoff run, as they won just two games out of 24 games during the regular, but turned it up for the playoffs. North Shore also placed third during the regular season, but managed to outlast the five other teams to win.
The event ran from Friday (March 25) to Sunday and featured fourt other teams – the Meadow Ridge Moose, Fraser Valley Jets, South Fraser TNT and Kamloops Vibe.
The Moose defeated the Vibe 3-1 in the third place game earlier on Sunday.
For complete results from the event, visit southcoastwomenshockey.ca.