COY CUP 2015

Coy Cup Qualifying series features familiar foes

Sunday, March 15, 2015

UPDATE: Regals' centre Chad Euverman found himself alone in front the Stampeders goalie six minutes into the overtime period after a pair of quick passes from Rick McLaren and Andy Welsh. Euverman calmly deked to his backhand before sliding the puck into the net, to the delight of an impressive Sunday afternoon crowd. The goal gave the Regals a 2-1 win in the game, a 2-1 win in the series and a berth in the Coy Cup provincial championship in Fort Nelson, which takes place from March 24 to 29, 2015. Along with the Regals and host Yetis, Fort St. John Flyers and Terrace River Kings have also qualified for the four-team tournament. Mitch Ball opened the scoring for the home team in the first period, assisted by John Murgatroyd. Game two overtime hero Nathan Zurak tied the game for the Stampeders in the second period; there was no scoring in period three. Ryan Fairgray made 23 saves for the Regals while his teammates fired a total of 42 shots, two of which found the back of the Stampeders net. Look for full game recaps and a Coy Cup preview in the Wednesday, March 18 edition of the Powell River Peak.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

UPDATE: Williams Lake Stampeders stave off elimination with a 4-3 overtime win over the Regals. For the second straight game, Regals needed a late goal to force overtime. John Murgatroyd's shot from the point found its way into the top corner of the net with under four minutes to play in regulation, putting the defending Coy Cup champion Stampeders a bounce away from losing their title. Regals could not repeat the overtime magic from 24 hours earlier though, as Nathan Zurak kept the Stampeders hopes for a provincial three-peat alive when he pounced on a rebound and slammed a shot past Ryan Fairgray in the Regals' net at 3:47 of overtime. The series is tied at one game each heading into the third and decisive game at Hap Parker Arena Sunday, March 15. Game time is 1:30 pm. Don't miss it! Winner advances to the four-team Coy Cup championship tournament in Fort Nelson from March 24-29.

Friday, March 13, 2015

UPDATE: Regals win 4-3 in overtime! Garrett Brandsma drew a penalty in overtime and scored the overtime winner, assisted by Mitch Ball, to lead the Regals past Williams Lake Stampeders 4-3 in the series opener. Stampeders erased a one-goal deficit by scoring three straight goals before the Regals rallied with two goals, the third coming with just over a minute remaining in regulation time. Regals take a 1-0 series lead into game two tonight at Hap Parker Arena. Game time is 7:30 pm.

March 11, 2015

Williams Lake Stampeders quest for a third straight provincial senior mens hockey title has taken an unexpected detour, to Powell River, for a best of three playoff series this weekend against the Regals. The winning team gains entry into Coy Cup 2015, a four-team tournament held in Fort Nelson from March 24 to 29.

Stampeders finished a stellar regular season atop the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) standings with an impressive 15-1 record. Playoffs are a different story in any league and Quesnel proved that throughout round one. The hometown Kangaroos skated to a 6-5 game one win and then pushed the Stampeders to the limit in games two and three at Williams Lake. The defending champions needed overtime in each game to extend their season.

The final series against Terrace River Kings not only decided the CIHL championship but also determined which team received an automatic entry into the Coy Cup. The teams entered the series with the knowledge that the losing side had to embark on a long trek to Powell River for a second-chance shot at gaining entry to the tournament.

Terrace used a three-goal third period to cruise to 7-3 home win in game one. As the higher seed, Stampeders held home ice advantage for the reminder of the series but, after a escaping with a narrow 3-2 win in game two, fell 4-3 in overtime of the decisive game and handed the league title and Coy Cup berth to the River Kings.

“We had a breakaway and then a penalty shot late in the third period,” said Stampeders president Marko Zurak. “You never know in overtime, Terrace is a good team.”

Stampeders first season of operation was in 1936 as part of the Cariboo Hockey League. After skating in that circuit for the next 34 years they joined the South Peace Hockey League for a decade until ceasing operations in 1979. The organization then took a 17-year break from competition. The “new” Stampeders returned to the ice in October 1996 when they hosted a pair of exhibition games against the Regals. The first game ended in a 4-4 tie in front of over 1,000 fans in a sold-out Williams Lake arena. Regals were defending AAA champions of BC at the time and that experience showed the following day in 7-3 win.

Stampeders first of three Coy Cup Championships came in 2009 with a 5-4 overtime win over the Regals in Terrace. “It was heartbreaking to lose the way we did,” said former Regal Scott Mastrodonato at the time. “It was a good lesson.”

One year later at Coy Cup 2010 in Powell River, a young Regals squad proved they had learned from that lesson and defeated Mid-Island 3-2 in the championship game for their fifth Coy Cup title. One day earlier the Stampeders first reign as champions came to an end with an 8-7 semi-final loss to Mid-Island.

Regals quest for a sixth Coy Cup title begins with game one at 7:30 pm Friday, March 13 at Hap Parker Arena. Game two goes Saturday, March 14, also at 7:30 pm, while game three (if necessary) will start at 1:30 pm Sunday, March 15.

“We have no idea what we will encounter,” said Zurak of the upcoming series. “For our community size we have a good team, but in senior hockey you never know how the teams will match up.”

REGALS PLAYOFF ROSTER

Forwards: Rick Mclaren, Austin Mclaren, Mitch Ball, Andy Welsh, Joe Calderone, Garrett Brandsma, Brady Casparie, Cody Ketchum, Nick Cecconi, Ryan Alexander, John Coyle, Chad Euverman and Dan Swanson

Defence: Chris Baker, Derek Jantz, Collin Lloyd, John Murgatroyd, Rich Kellington, Lucas Behan and Brock Sawyer

Goalies: Ryan Fairgray, Lazlo Tamasik and Chase Krompocker