For the first time in their 12-year history, the La Ronge Ice Wolves are going to the National Junior A Championship.
Liam Brennan completed his hat trick 3:48 into overtime as the Ice Wolves clinched the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League championship with a 3-2 win over the Yorkton Terriers on Sunday night at Farrell Agencies Arena in Yorkton.
The victory wrapped up a 4-2 series win for the Ice Wolves, who will next face the MJHL champion Dauphin Kings in the Anavet Cup. But, more importantly, the win moves La Ronge into the 2010 RBC Cup, since the Kings are hosting the national championship.
The fourth seeds in the Bauer Conference – and seventh seeds overall – the Ice Wolves swept the three-time defending SJHL champions from Humboldt in the best-of-five Survivor Series before knocking off the top-seeded Flin Flon Bombers and second-ranked Battlefords North Stars in six games each to reach the SJHL final.
The Terriers also took the long road as the lowest-seeded team to make the playoffs, beating Melville in four games, Weyburn – the SJHL regular-season champions – in five games and Kindersley in seven – needing overtime in Game 7 on the road – to get to the final.
After splitting the first four games, with each team winning once at home and once in overtime on the road, the Ice Wolves took a 3-2 series lead with a 3-1 victory on home ice before Brennan’s heroics ended the wildest SJHL playoffs in recent memory.
The Ice Wolves will be on the ice for the first game at the 2010 RBC Cup, taking on the Central Region champions at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 1. The best-of-seven Anavet Cup begins Friday night in La Ronge.