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Roller hockey keeps on rolling
The Bainbridge Island Roller Hockey League finished another top-notch season last Saturday at the roller rink at Battle Point Park with several intense playoff games. Many were decided by one goal or two, with one heading to overtime and a shootout.
The championship game between the Lightning and the Hurricanes truly epitomized the spirit of Bainbridge Island Roller Hockey. The two teams had shared the practice rink the entire season as friends and players.
The Lightning got on the boards quickly with a goal by Hannah Martin. From there, the scoring went back and forth between both teams with goalies August Janow (Lightning) and Shane Patterson (Hurricanes) stellar under attack. The Lightning’s Riley Baron put the Hurricanes on top 4-3 in the third period.
The Hurricanes were dogged, relentlessly putting up shot after shot against second period goalie Jalin Kimpton-Cuellar, who, with his brother, Elan, came back from their new home in Canada for the playoffs. Everyone was on the edge of their seat when a timeout was called with a minute to go.
The Hurricanes pulled their goalie to skate in a moment of hope and desperation, but the Lightning remained on top for the championship.
“All the kids fought hard and played their hearts out,” Coach Leslie Baron said. “All the playoff games were close, which is what happens when you’ve got balanced teams.
“If you were lucky enough to be in the stands you would have seen a rink of hard skating, lots of cheering and plenty of fun.”
Championship: Lightning 4, Hurricanes 3
Lightning: Goals – Riley Baron 3, Hannah Martin 1. Assists – Elan Kimpton-Cuellar 1.
Hurricanes: Goals – Jordan Greenfield 2, Abe Waite 1.
Consolation Game: Wild 5, Canadiens 4
Wild: Goals – William Donald 3, Aidan Carlisle 2.
Canadiens: Goals - Reid Cloward 3, Aiden Dorsey 1. Assists: Cole Sanders 1.
The Wild, who finished the season in third place, landed in the consolation round after losing a nail-biter of a playoff game a few nights before. It was a back and forth contest, with The Wild’s William Donald and The Canadiens’ Reid Cloward, prohibited from scoring beyond their three goals each under the Gretzky Rule: after a player scores a hat trick, that player can’t score again the rest of the game. In the final minute of the game, Aidan Carlisle scored the winning goal on a breakaway to secure a third place finish for The Wild.
The Canucks came into the final in first place, while the Flames, capturing second-place in league standings squeaked into the finals, winning their playoff game against the Capitals in a shootout. It was a tight contest with lightning fast skating and rapid shooting.
Goalie Ari Pitasky (Canucks), filling in for the team’s regular keeper, and Greg Shea (Flames) proved their importance as both were under siege throughout the game.
“We were outhustled the first two periods, but in the third, something clicked,” Flames coach Ian Fullerton said. “Before we went on the rink, I told my team ‘Right now, they (Canucks) want it more. If you want it, you have to get it. The Canucks aren’t going to give you anything. No lead is safe.’
“While I was confident we could do it, I think all of us were in shock when we won the championship.”
Championship: Flames 6, Canucks 4
Flames: Goals – Joey Kane 3, Andrew Yalung 2, Mick Kane 1. Assists – Tyler Moniz 1, Andrew Yalung 1.
Canucks: Goals – Josh Hoidn 1, Eli Pitasky 1. Assists – Dylan Curran 1, Connor Fazzini 1.
Consolation Game: Capitals 7, Flyers 6 (OT shootout)
Capitals: Goals – Paige Brigham 1, Keats Hoonan 1, Sam Jabloner 1, Luke McJunkin 1, Michael Wilkinson 1, Toby Yates 1. Assists – Delaney Keller 1. Shootout 1: Paige Brigham 1.
Flyers: Goals – Maureen Greason 2, Zack Badzik 2, Ruark Bohonos 1, Fergus Enslow-Wence 1, Austin Waite 1. Assists – Miranda Peterson 1.
It doesn’t get closer than this. After regulation time ended, the Capitals and Flyers found themselves tied at six. The two teams were at an impasse after the six-minute overtime. For the shootout, it came down to the wire with both teams going through their four shooters. Finally, Paige Brigham put the ball in the net for the winner, ending an incredible game to witness for all.
In this highly anticipated match-up, the fast-flying Red Wings prevailed over the mighty Avalanche.
It was a dog chase of a game with the Avalanche always nipping at the heels of the Red Wings, but never quite able to catch up, even with Quinn Cullen and John Windust of the Red Wings racking up hat tricks.
The versatility and talent of the Red Wings was evident as the rest of the team racked up scores and assists. Especially impressive was the playmaking of Jacky Sheridan with three assists. Speed skater Derry McDonald posted a hat trick as well.
As Avalanche coach Ian Fullerton remarked, “For us, the championship game was heart-breaking. The Red Wings played a little better and came out on top. But I can proudly say we left nothing on the table.”
Championship: Red Wings 10, Avalanche 8
Red Wings: Goals – Quinn Cullen 3, John Windust 3, Jacky Sheridan 2, Charlie Fletcher 1, Duncan Hack 1. Assists – Jacky Sheridan 3, Charlie Fletcher 1, Aaron Hack 1, Casey Ogren 1.
Avalanche: Goals – Derry McDonald 3, Ian Fullerton 2 Kevin Curran 1, Zach Paradis 1, Kevin Yalung 1. Assists – Derry McDonald 2, Kevin Curran 1, Zach Paradis 1.
Consolation Game: Jets 6, Kings 4
Jets: Goals – Justin Perry 3, Zach Bohonos 1, Nate Greason 1, Matt Perry 1. Assists – Jake Brigham 2, Zach Bohonos 1, Nate Greason 1, Matt Perry 1, Kevin Sevigny 1.
Kings: Goals – Willie Hayward 2, Blake Cloward 2, Braeden Shippen 1. Assists – Willie Hayward 1, Connor Kenyon 1, Evan McCloud 1.
Both the Kings and the Jets brought their big hearts and mighty drive to this consolation game. DIII newcomer Justin Perry cranked up his game and scored a hat trick for the Jets in this lightning-fast game. In the spirit of friendship and hockey humor, Jets goalie Nick Lacy and Kings goalie Keenan Blackwood took the face-off in the final period.
Mary Clare Winners:
The Mary Clare Award, named after one of the founders of Bainbridge Roller Hockey League, is given to one player on each team – not necessarily the best player – who is encouraging to teammates, has a positive attitude, works hard on the rink at all times, and never gives up. This season’s recipients:
Lightning: Ethan Soltanzadeh
Canadiens: Bennett Olson
Wild: Micah Russell
Canucks: Ari Pitasky
Flames: Andrew Yalung
Capitals: Luke McJunkin
Flyers: Jack Odell
Avalanche: Matt Sandridge
Red Wings: Quinn Cullen
Jets: Zach Bohonos
Kings: Blake Cloward
Ian Fullerton (7 seasons)
Matt Sandridge (9 seasons)
Bernadette Stephen-McRae Volunteer Award:
Bernadette Stephen-McRae, one of the founders of Bainbridge Roller Hockey was the past president for many years and put her heart and soul into establishing a league that is a nurturing and balanced environment for athletes and young people. She was the consummate volunteer and will always be part of BRHL.
2008 Winners: Leslie Baron has coached Division I (ages 7-10) for the past four years. Her commitment to BRHL and its players has been steadfast, making the commute three times a week from Silverdale.
Ian Fullerton, a recent graduate of Bainbridge High School, has played BRHL hockey since 2001 when he was 11 years old.
The past few years he not only has played hockey, but also has volunteered as a referee and Division II and DIII coach, while attending BHS and working a summer job.
–With information supplied by BIRHL’s Jing Fong