Patrick Walker put the Milers on the board, and it had been a while, so they celebrated.
Seconds later, Brandan Moore slapped one in, and they celebrated some more.
Following two shutout losses, 100 Mile House’s Midget rep hockey team, sponsored by Mayvin Plumbing & Heating, notched its first goals of the 2014 Tier 3 BC Hockey Championship with less than a minute to go in the third frame against Dawson Creek at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre on March 17.
The game finished 4-2 for the visiting team, so the end wasn’t really in doubt. On March 16, however, the Milers lost in blowouts to Alberni Valley (last year’s provincial champs) and Terrace (this year’s favourite).
The late tallies that closed the spread against Dawson Creek show the Milers didn’t quit, which, more than wins in this competitive provincial tournament, is what coach Dustin Price is looking for from the host squad.
“We’re just grinding it out and the kids are improving every game. This game, we were able to set up on our power play a little bit.
“We’re growing. We still have a lot to learn, and we’re learning at a faster rate at this higher competition.”
Walker stepped out of the dressing room following the game to give an interview. Someone in there shouted, “St. Patrick’s Day!”
With a big exhale, Walker says he feels great.
“It feels like we actually broke the ice now. It’s been so long since we actually scored.”
Assists on the play were made by Evan Yano and Derek Schneider.
Walker, who’s notched a handful of goals this season, came in on his backhand to get around a defender. He was knocked down in the process but switched to his forehand in time to lift the puck “top cheese.”
“I lost my glove,” he recalls. “But who cares.”
On Moore’s goal, assists went to Adrianna Johnson and Brayden Sanford.
The Midget Tier 3 BC Championship finishes on March 21.
The Milers play next at 8:30 p.m. against Castlegar today (March 19).
Walker says he hopes they can keep the momentum going.
“All year we’ve been working on one thing at a time. It’s all starting to come together.
“It feels good – being able to play the puck without just shooting it down the ice.”