Wildabeasts pull out late win in Lillooet

House league hockey team ends year with a championship

The Kelowna Wildabeasts celebrate a tournament victory that closes out their season.

The Kelowna midget Wildabeasts nearly got off on the wrong skate last weekend as the Kelowna midget girls house league hockey season wrapped up with the OMAHA title on the line at an invitational tournament in Lillooet.

The Wildabeasts were down 2-0 with eight minutes to go in their first game against Langley last Friday night and it appeared they were in for a disappointing run at the Lillooet Provincial Championship Invitational Tournament.

But thanks to two late goals by Cassie Strymecki the team pulled out a tie against Langley. And that sparked the Kelowna club as they never looked back, winning the next five games to take all the honours.

Meaghan Ross earned the MVP award for the first game.

On Saturday, Kelowna beat the Kamloops Hellcats 5-1 on the strong performance from  MVP Nicole Steward. Less than two hours later, they faced a stong challenge from the host team but came out on top 3-1 with game MVP honours going to Anneke MacMahon.

That evening the team clinched the first place bye with a victory over Kamloops. Ashley Corbett was named as game MVP.

The arena was packed the next morning as the host team put up another tough fight in their attempt to hand the high flying Wildabeasts their first loss. By the middle of the third period, the game could have gone either way with the score 1-1. Game MVP Jody Monk forced a turnover and split the D to put the team in the lead. Two more goals by the team took the pressure off by putting the team up 4-1 to finish the game.

The final game against Kamloops was tied 0-0 until Jolanda Kondrak scored the go ahead goal at the five minute mark. The Kamloops team made the final minutes very uncomfortable for the Wildabeasts team until Kondrak scored her second goal into an empty net. Game MVP was the hard working Nessa Mellen.

Goalie Julie Humphries had a strong weekend performance. Other team members sharing the tournament championship honours were Kim Kosic, Kirsten Dachwitz, Cassie Mellen,  Alex Large, Danielle McDivitt, Erin Gamble, Megan Sebastian, and Sara Vicaretti. Team coaches were  Sam Solheim and Britt Popoff.

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