It took quadruple overtime — and a quick conference by the referees — but the Langley Lightning bantam girls hockey team captured the provincial championship banner, a first in the association’s history at the bantam level.
Nicole Nordal (Langley) threw the puck on goal and with a mad scramble in front of the North Shore Avalanche goal, Hailey Maurice (Abbotsford) shovelled home the loose puck to set off a celebration.
The only question was whether the goal would stand as Langley’s Hayley Douglas was on top of the goaltender after being pushed down. And after the referees had a quick meeting, the initial call of ‘goal’ stood.
The teams were competing at the bantam girls provincial hockey championships March 21 to 24 at Vancouver’s Trout Lake Arena.
The goal came in the 117th minute of play, meaning the teams played nearly two full 60-minute hockey games.
Even more remarkable was the fact this was Langley’s second game of the day — they tied Kelowna 2-2 on Saturday morning and less than 12 hours later, were back on the ice for what amounted to nearly three full games in 15 hours.
By comparison, North Shore was playing their only game of the day.
The victory was payback for the Lightning as North Shore had edged them for both the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association banner and the league playoff banner.
In fact, Lightning coach Jacob Mangone of Abbotsford told his team at their first practice they would win provincials. This was despite him coaching an all-girls team for the first time.
“I knew we had a strong team (and) we have the best goalie probably in western Canada for that age group,” Mangone said about his netminder, Hailey Macleod (Abbotsford).
“Knowing that she was going to steal us some games along the way, I was pretty confident saying that to the girls.”
“We definitely had speed bumps along the way, like every team does,” the coach added. “But they worked really hard and wanted this.”
At provincials, the Avalanche were 4-0-1 during round-robin play while the Lightning were 3-0-2.
That included the teams playing to a 0-0 draw.
And in the final, the Lightning struck first when Allison Jakeway’s (Maple Ridge) point shot put Langley up 1-0. North Shore would tie the score before first intermission and neither team would score for the next 97 minutes.
In the team’s other games, Langley beat the Vancouver Angels 5-0, hammered North East BC 17-0, doubled the Prince George Cougars 4-2 and then after the scoreless draw with the Avalanche, picked up a big point in a 2-2 tie with the Kelowna Rockets to secure a spot in the final.
The Lightning are made up of: Langley players Esther Boelema, Julia Clauzel, Hayley Douglas, Lacey Edwards, Nicole Nordal, Samantha Peebles, Coral Simbulan, Kate Vendramin, Kayla White, Jayna Marchant and Callie Marchant; Chilliwack residents Abigail Hall, Allison Jakeway and, Emily Jakeway; Mackenzie Leverrier of Harrison Hot Springs; and Abbotsford players Hailey Maurice, Hailey Macleod and Jessica Reimer.
Two other Langley Girls Ice Hockey Association squads also had successful seasons in capturing their playoff championship banners.
The bantam C1 Lightning and midget C1 Lightning each won the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association banners for their respective playoff groups.