The Peninsula Panthers have brought the Cyclone Taylor Cup home to Vancouver Island for the first time since 2007.
Peninsula defeated the host Fernie Ghostriders 5-3 Sunday night.
The win advances the Panthers to the Keystone Cup, Western Canadian Jr. B Championship, April 14-17 in Sherwood Park, Alta.
All four top scorers from the tournament were from Peninsula. Cole Peterson (three goals), Joe Densmore (two goals) and Zach Mazo (one goal) led the tournament in scoring with five points each. Kyle Peterson was fourth with three goals and one assist.
Fernie scored first in the final as Scott Morisseau beat Panthers’ goalie Nick Babich just 23 seconds into the game.
The Panthers struck back two of their from Marshall Brome and Zach Mazo as the first period ended 1-1. The Panthers fell behind gain in the second period, 3-2, with a momentum-killing goal just eight seconds into the frame.Nothing, however, was going to phase the team that won four straight in the VIJHL championship final over the regular season champion Victoria Cougars.
The Panthers battled and pulled ahead with two powerplay goals from Kyle Peterson, one with 28 seconds remaining in the period for their second lead of the game, 4-3.
A tight third period ended without any goals as Densmore potted an empty netter with one second to go.
It’s the Panthers’ first Cyclone Cup. They lost to the Revelstoke Grizzlies in the B.C. final last year.
Peninsula tied Fernie 3-3 in the round robin opener on Thursday (March 31). The Panthers topped the Richmond Sockeyes 6-4 in Game 2 on Friday. It led to a very important Saturday matchup against the Osoyoos Coyotes. Saturday’s match was a wild affair that saw the Panthers come back from a 6-2 deficit, scoring four goals in the third period to tie the game 6-6.