The Lloydminster peewee Bulls pose with the Saskatchewan Ball Hockey League championship after beating the Raptors 4-2 in the final at Russ Robertson Arena on Sunday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTOS
It took a late insurance goal to settle the Saskatchewan Ball Hockey League (SBHL) peewee championship.
Brody Arsenault fired a shot down the middle of the court from just inside his own blueline to give the Bulls a 4-2 advantage over the Raptors with 1:13 to play in the SBHL final at Russ Robertson Arena on Sunday evening.
The goal thwarted a strong push in the final 10 minutes by the Raptors to tie the contest and force a sudden-death playoff.
“We were pretty close,” said Raptors centre Bohdi Schneider. “We just needed more pressure.”
The peewee championship final was a year in the making between the Raptors and Bulls with each club powering through the spring season on stifling defensive play coupled with a formidable dump-and-chase attack.
The Bulls appeared destined to take the crown thanks to their near perfect record, but the Raptors made sure their opponent’s sole regular-season loss to them remained in the back of their minds.
A Kaliel Flett pass to Adam Applegate into the slot from behind the net opened the scoring at the 8:16 mark in the Bulls’ favour despite both clubs applying equal pressure to start the game.
Raptors defenceman Loghan Janes notched the equalizer soon after on a flutter shot from the point that found it’s way through traffic and past Bulls goalie Reece Carter.
Jaxson Schlosser restored the one-goal lead moments later thanks to a great individual effort where the Bulls centre raced past a couple of Raptors defenceman to a loose ball in their zone before backhanding it low glove side on Blake Oman.
The Raptors’ Hayden Aultman tied the contest once again about five minutes into the second and final period.
Schlosser scored the eventual game winner on the power play by breaking down the centre of the rink before firing a shot in close that found the low glove side. The Raptors stepped up their attack following the goal, but they couldn’t find an answer for Carter.
“It’s my first time winning in three years playing,” said Schlosser. “It means a lot to me and my team.”
Clubs also capturing SBHL championships on Sunday include the tyke Pitbulls, initiation B Crocodiles, initiation A Pandas, novice Eagles, atom Gophers and bantam Knights.