After four straight wins, the Redvers Rockets defeated the Carnduff Red Devils to become the 2017-2018 Big Six Hockey League Champions, with the final game ending in a 2-1 win for Redvers before a hometown crowd at the Redvers Arena on Saturday, March 24.
Rockets team manager James Duncan summed up his team's triumph this way: “It's the first time that a Big Six Championship was won by Redvers. In the league we have now, there are a lot of quality hockey players and teams, so it takes a very, very good team to win the Big Six this year and this year, we have that team.”
Red Devils manager Craig Barber said: “It was a good season and we wanted to win... But it was good to see some different teams in the finals and it was great to see so many people come out to watch hockey.”
Redvers took an early lead in the series on home ice with a 4-0 win over the Red Devils on Wednesday, March 14, followed by a close win of 4-3 for Redvers after double overtime on Friday, March 16 in Carnduff.
On Thursday, March 22 in Carnduff, Redvers won 4-2. The Rockets' Koltyn Miller scored the only goal in the first period, assisted by Remi Lamotte and Drew Hoff.
In the second period, Carnduff added two goals, putting the Red Devils ahead 2-1, with unassisted goals by Trevor Geiger and Matt Audette.
Carnduff's second-period lead was interrupted by the Rockets' Jordan Miller, whose goal was assisted by Dakota Rose and Jarvis Ducharme, bringing the score to 2-2.
In the third period, the Rockets' Jordan Miller scored his second goal of the night, once again assisted by Dakota Rose and Jarvis Ducharme and putting his team ahead of Carnduff 3-2.
With Redvers ahead, Carnduff pulled their goalie and with just over a minute remaining, Jordan Miller scored on the empty net, picking up a hat trick and securing a 4-2 win for Redvers.
The fourth game of the series meant a possible series championship for the Rockets if they could claim victory over Carnduff.
The match-up was initially scheduled to take place in Redvers on Friday, March 23. However, the storm system moving through southeastern Saskatchewan meant that the game was rescheduled for Saturday, March 24 at the Redvers Arena.
Rockets fans anticipated a victory celebration as they put on a special night at their hometown rink. Kids wearing Rockets jerseys were admitted to the game free of charge, the Redvers Day Care hosted a fundraising bar and the Chase The Ace draw resulted in a win of $7,500 cash for Colby Potapinski.
“There was lots of excitement in the Redvers arena tonight,” said hockey fan Shirley McCarron of Manor.
The game - which was broadcast live by Estevan's CJ 1150 Radio - was a hard-fought, physical match-up.
The first period was scoreless and in the second period, Drew Hoff of the Rockets scored the first and only goal, assisted by Brady Gaudet and Remi Lamotte.
The third period saw Bradey Fidierchuk score for the Rockets, assisted by Brady Gaudet and Jordan Miller, while Blake McMillen netted a goal for Carnduff with an assist from Matt Audette.
The final game of the series - before a hometown crowd at the Redvers Arena saw the Rockets cinch the championship title with a 2-1 victory over the Red Devils. Throughout the series, each game was characterized by physical play, with Carnduff missing a few men from their roster by the time game four was played.
Rockets fan Kendra Miller summed up her team's winning season like this: “It was a great year for the guys! They had a really good team that worked well together and it sure showed by them sweeping the playoffs.”
“It was an awesome night and a great crowd. I think the fans wanted it just as bad as the team did.”
Redvers Rockets: Co-Manager Dallas Jonassen, Co-Manager James Duncan, Coach: Ken Potapinski, Asst. Coach: Garth Mann. Players: Drew Hoff, Brady Gaudet, Dakota Rose, Craig Gaudet, Jordon Miller, Kevin Mann, Todd Gervais, Bradey Fidierchuk, Remi Lamotte, Koltyn Miller, Kelsey Kenler, Ryan Yates, Sean Jonassen, Cory Jones, Dereck Wilson, John Potapinski, Brent Wilson, Jarvis Ducharme, Francis Lamotte, Gavin Martel, Dustin Purvis, Thomas Bauche, Shane Marsh,
Carnduff Red Devils: Manager: Craig Barber, Coach: Ed McMillen, Players: Trevor Geiger, Shawn Gallant, Matthew Audette, Brandon Trask, Kody Martin, Mark Moriarty, Landon Senchuk, Devon Carriere, Cody Moore, Callan Carlton, Blake McMillen, Justin Smith, Sean Mulcahy, Nico Anderson, Tanner Reynolds, Zach Halvorson, Barrett Dumaine, Braden Dumaine, Garrett Fitzpatrick, Austin Holliday, Jason Boyes, Cody Dumaine, Adrian Rubeniuk, Mason Plews.