Heart-wrenching is about as close as one can get to describing what the Lacoka Warriors midget girls hockey team felt after falling in the provincial championship final.
The Warriors lost 4-2 to Brooks to come home with silver from the female midget B provincial tournament in Leduc over the weekend.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking,” explained head coach Curtis Huchkowski in an interview on Monday.
“With where we were a couple months ago, ravaged by injuries, just making it to the tournament was a tremendous accomplishment by these girls. Our affiliate players and the rest of the team really came through and played above their heads to get us to this point.
“Unfortunately, despite playing hard all game and all tournament, the girls simply ran out of gas at the end.”
What made the loss in the final more difficult to stomach was how it all came about.
Following a scoreless opening frame, the Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on goal by Morgyn Fuller and Paige Polson, only to see it cut in half by Brooks with just 36 seconds remaining in the period.
The Warriors would then start off the third by taking three penalties in a row to start the stanza, leading to Brooks tying it up with a powerplay marker just one second after a nearly two minute long 5-on-3 advantage.
Play would go back and forth until Brooks scored the eventual game winner with 1:01 left to play and then sewed up the title with an empty net goal just 28 seconds later.
In spite of the loss, Huchkowski was so proud of the team and also happy with the one consolation prize the Warriors netted.
“Stettler was our league champion this year and it was such a rush to beat them in the semi-final,” he added.
Speaking of the semi-final versus Stettler, the Warriors dominated the contest from start to finish with Polson opening the scoring in the first and Hailey Huchkowski making 2-0 on a second period powerplay. Stettler’s lone marker would come early in the third, before the Warriors shut the door with a goal from Cheyenne Avery and a pair from Cassandra Klinger.
The Warriors went through the round robin pool play with three wins — 5-0 over Calgary, beating Piikani 5-1 and doubling up Beaverlodge 4-2 to go with a 6-2 loss to Brooks.