OTTAWA—The Muskies are provincial champs once again!
The boys’ hockey team captured the gold medal after doubling the Silverthorn Collegiate Institute Spartans (Etobicoke) 4-2 in the final of the OFSAA ‘A/AA’ championship in Ottawa.
“I can’t even describe what it feels like,” Muskie coach Jamie Davis grinned while his players celebrated on the ice.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he added.
“Something I’ll never forget, that’s for sure.”
Davis admitted capping the season with a gold medal was not something he expected at the start of the campaign.
“We’re so young and so many new guys,” he noted.
“Just to get here was an accomplishment,” Davis said.
“To make it out of our round-robin was good news, and winning a quarter-final [game] ended the three-year curse for us as a coaching staff.
“I mean, anything is possible once you start going,” he reasoned.
“We all got to play.”
For fans wishing to welcome home the Muskies, the team bus is slated to arrive sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Memorial Sports Centre.
The Muskies continued their recent trend of a hot start to open the period in yesterday’s final.
Cooper Witherspoon cleaned up a rebound from Nick Hahkala’s shot to put the black-and-gold up by one just 14 seconds into the game.
“It felt great to put us on top and get the first goal,” Witherspoon grinned after the game.
The Spartans answered with a goal of their own, albeit controversial, with nine minutes to go in the first period.
Fort High argued the puck never crossed the line but instead hit the post and went out.
The goal stood although video later surfaced online from the broadcast of the game that proved the Muskies’ contention.
The Muskies weren’t discouraged, however, as the line of Hahkala, Witherspoon, and Sullivan Shortreed generated two more goals to give Fort High a 3-1 lead after the opening period.
The second period saw both sides take several penalties, with plenty of 4-on-4 hockey, although neither team was able to score.
Then with just under four minutes left in regulation time, the Spartans beat Dylan Ossachuk to pull within one.
Silverthorn pulled its goalie in an effort to net the equalizer, but Cameron Gushulak sent the puck into the empty net with 70 seconds to go to secure the gold medal.
It marked Fort High’s first OFSAA medal since the team last won gold back in 2001.
“If you were to ask me at the start of the year if we could have done this, I probably would have hesitated,” Ossachuk admitted.
“But now after doing it, the boys came together, it was great,” he enthused.
“Three full periods of hockey every game.
“Came out rough at the start of the tournament, turned it around really quick, and look at where we are now,” added Ossachuk.
“Feelings can’t describe it.”
The Muskies will look to repeat as champs next year as host squad.