The Selkirk Fishermen are the Capital Region Junior Hockey League champions once again.
For the third consecutive time, Selkirk won the league title after an impressive 4-0 shutout over the St. Malo Warriors last Saturday at the Recreation Complex.
What a way to cap off a tremendous season.
“They were the best team in the regular season and they proved it in the playoffs,” said Fishermen head coach Chris Poponick. “Like I told them at the start, the regular season means nothing. Even though you might be the best team on paper, you have to prove it on the ice and they did that.”
The Fishermen won the best-of-seven series 4-1.
“It’s unbelievable to go out with back-to-back championships,” said Fishermen goaltender Owen Derewianchuk, who stopped 25 shots for the win and was outstanding all season. “I definitely could not have predicted that. I am just so happy to go out on top.”
Seth De La Ronde and Jordan Donald scored first-period goals and then Donald and Raymond Hefferman tallied in the third. Hefferman’s goal came on the power play and it was a beauty.
Last Friday, the Fishermen took a 3-1 series lead with a solid 4-2 win over the Warriors in St. Malo.
Selkirk trailed 2-1 in the third period but stormed back with three unanswered goals.
Kyle Folhoffer, with a pair, Andrew Hladun, and Kasen Andrushko scored for Selkirk.
Jeremie Collette and Teagan Fillion replied with second-period goals for the Warriors.
That comeback win was huge.
“For the boys to come back and get that win, and the opportunity to win at home, was really exciting,” Derewianchuk said. “All four of the guys aging out (Derewianchuk, Brendon Hocaluk, Cale Jonski, and Zack Parkinson) really wanted to win at home.”
Selkirk was extremely good defensively all season. The Fishermen allowed just nine goals in the five games against St. Malo in the championship series.
“We’re the type of team that we’re going to win those 2-0, 2-1 type of games,” said Derewianchuk, who played four full seasons with the Fishermen. “We’re not the type of team that gets into the (high-scoring) shootouts. If we kept the score low, we knew we were going to win.”
Poponick said this was an absolutely great team to coach this past season.
“They were a fantastic group of kids,” he said. “Every year you lose guys and you go how do I rebuild this and I get kids with the same character. A lot of the character is from the players coming back and they help build the culture. It’s outstanding and the guys really enjoy each other’s company and they love coming to the rink.”
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