A goal from Shannon Morris-Reade with four seconds remaining in regulation time lifted the North Shore Rebels to their first-ever BC Hockey/SCWHL championship Sunday afternoon in Hope.
It was a wild finish to the final game of the Ekanite Consulting/SCWHL Provincial Championship Tournament, which ended with the Rebels edging the Richmond Devils 3-2. The game was scoreless after one period and tied 1-1 after two.
With less than three minutes to play, the game seemed headed to overtime until Ashley Jukich netted a go-ahead goal for North Shore with just 2:33 remaining.
The Devils, as they had done all tournament, refused to quit and tied the score on the second goal of the game by Reaghan Chadwick with 1:16 left on the clock and goaltender Jenna Ehling on the bench for a sixth attacker.
With overtime just seconds away, Morris-Reade netted the championship-clinching goal.
“It’s been great for us, starting this league a few years ago to winning the championship, it’s a great feeling,” said Jukich, adding the Rebels didn’t take the sixth-seed Jets 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.”
Elexa Pokozdy scored the first goal of the game for North Shore, which entered the SCWHL as an expansion team for the 2017-18 season.
Prior to the Rebels and Richmond were the only two teams in the tournament to have never won a BC Championship. North Shore ended their drought in just their third full season of competition.