Overtime needed for Tritons hockey wins over Comox

Tritons hockey wins

Esquimalt Senior Tritons celebrate PO2 Pat McKernan’s (centre) game-tying goal in the third period of Game 2 of their exhibition series against Comox. The Tritons won 2-1 in overtime for a series sweep.
Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

Esquimalt Tritons hockey teams have returned to the ice on a winning note with a pair of victories over 19 Wing Comox.

The Esquimalt Tritons Senior Men’s won a tie-breaking Game 3 in their three-game series against the Silver Totems, with a 2-1 overtime win on Feb. 24. Later that afternoon, the Tritons Men’s team completed a series sweep of their RCAF rivals with a 5-4 overtime victory.

A/SLt Cameron Lamport scored a hat trick for the Men’s, erasing a 3-1 Comox third period lead in Game 2. Comox looked like they had pushed their series to a Game 3 tie-breaker after taking a 4-3 lead with 2:15 remaining in the third period. But then a snap shot by PO1 Curtis Gillies with just 12 seconds remaining tied the game and sent it to overtime.

S3 Brady Hillock then cemented the series sweep for Tritons Men’s after scoring the winner less than a minute into overtime. He collected a pass from A/SLt Lamport and scored with a well-placed backhand under the crossbar to win the game and series for Esquimalt.

“The team was pumped,” says PO1 Gillies. “Everyone jumped the boards to congratulate Hillcock and Lamport.”

In Game 2, Tritons Senior Men’s PO2 Pat McKernan scored a tying goal with 5:39 remaining in the third period. Then, CPO2 Robert Tibbetts and WO Frank McCafferty assisted on PO1 Glen Thompson’s overtime winner for the series victory. 

“Game three was a tightly fought war of attrition with great end-to-end action,” says CPO2 Tibbetts.

All three players involved in the Tritons Senior final goal had been doing double duty as members of the Tritons Men’s team as well.

The Canadian Forces National Sports championship series have been suspended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both best-of-three series were categorized as exhibition play and no trophies were handed out, Tritons players, both young and old, celebrated their success on the ice with the excitement normally reserved for national or regional championship.

CPO2 Tibbetts says on-ice celebrations really represented a release of bottled up energy as most players on both teams were delighted to return to play for the first time in two years.

“It’s important to have a semblance of active living and normality back in our lives,” he says. “The comradeship and competition coupled with physical fitness epitomizes the best traits of the Canadian Armed Forces and CAF Sports.”

Men’s Team manager PO1 Curtis Gillies, a left-winger, said he and his teammates were also disappointed not to be competing for a national championship this year but excited to be back.

“I was ecstatic when we returned to play,” he says. “The mental health benefits of participating in a sports program and leading a physically-active lifestyle cannot be overlooked.”

Despite no national tournament, the Tritons Men’s were able to play on a regular basis. The team competed in the Victoria Hockey League (VHL) this season where they registered nine wins, nine losses, and two ties in the regular season and recorded a second-place finish.

The Tritons Senior Men’s team also stayed sharp by playing the third division of recreational league Island 101 this winter.

“We are still working to build our program with the goal of a national championship next year and will continue practising and playing until the ice is removed at the arena in April,” says CPO2 Tibbetts.

The Tritons Women’s team has been playing exhibition games at Wurtele Arena versus local competition twice a month.

 

RECAP:

Comox v. Esquimalt
Best-of-three hockey series; all games played at Wurtele Arena

Men
Feb. 23 Esquimalt 4, Comox 3
Feb. 24 Esquimalt 5, Comox 4 (OT)

(Esquimalt wins series 2-0)

Seniors
Feb. 22 Esquimalt 5, Comox 0
Feb. 23 Comox 2, Esquimalt 1
Feb. 24 Esquimalt 2, Comox 1 (OT)

(Esquimalt wins series 2-1)

 

Members of the Comox Silver Totems (left) and Esquimalt Tritons Senior teams gather in front of the team benches at Wurtele Arena for a group photo at the completion of their series. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

 

 

Tritons Men's Hockey

The Tritons Men’s team following their Game 3 win.
Photo by Rodney Venis, Base Public Affairs

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