It was a valiant effort that capped a great season, but the Ripley Wolves couldn't overcome two overtime losses in the WOAA Senior AA Final and fell in five games to the Tavistock Royals.
On Friday night, before another capacity crowd, the Wolves fell behind 3-0 by the midway mark of the second period, before taking control of the game like they hadn't done to date in the series.
Dan Nicoloff gave the boys – and the crowd – some life with a mini-breakaway snipe, from Garrett Meurs and Pat Looby. Just a minute later, Ethan Skinner found the back of the net from Nick Seiler and Derek Skinner, to bring the Wolves to within one.
Tavistock restored their two-goal lead with 4:25 left in the second with yet another powerplay goal – an Achilles heel for the Wolves the whole series – but Cody Britton brought the Wolves back to within one to end the second period with his own powerplay marker, from Meurs and Seiler.
Seven minutes into the third period, Chase Meurs tied the game, from Gerrit Satosek and Derek Skinner. The good vibes in the rink only lasted six minutes before Tavistock scored a gorgeous shorthanded goal to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish. They added an empty netter on their way to a 6-4 win and the WOAA Senior AA championship.
Jason Hamilton – as he has been for so many years – was fantastic in the Wolves net during a season where he set records for most wins, shutouts and minutes played in WOAA Senior A league history.
The Ripley Wolves executive thank our players for the dedication and guts and blood they gave for the team this year and, in many of their cases, many years prior. They've given it their all every weekend since October, sacrificing time with their families, friends and careers (not to mention their health) to play a clean and wildly entertaining style of hockey that had the town buzzing. Losing in the final hurts like hell, but these men have nothing to hang their heads about.
The executive also thank our coaching staff, led by Jeff Alcombrack, as well as Trainer/Manager Jeff Richardson, and General Manager Corey McCrae for their outstanding work this year. Being in this league isn't only a huge commitment for the players, so thank you to these gentleman for all their work this season.
We also can't say enough about our game staff – Mike Pollock, Hugh Nichol, and Dave Quinn – for their ongoing work in the time clock, as well as Terri and Josh France for working the front door at every game this season – a cold and thankless job. Big thanks also to Amy Smith for her live-streaming of our games over the past few weeks – we know a lot of people really appreciated the effort, as well as Wade's commentary.
As they do every year, our sponsors stepped up in a huge way once again this season, supporting our efforts to bring a highly entertaining brand of hockey to our community. Without you there is no us, so thank you all for your continued support and please spend your money at these businesses
at every opportunity.
And finally, thank you to our fans, who showed up at unprecedented levels throughout the season and playoffs. We appreciate you for spending your winter months with us, and we look forward to finishing the job next season.