Storybook ending spoiled in overtime

Lucas Gore's goal crease was once again a busy place. The Tri-City Americans peppered the Chilliwack net with 37 shots Wednesday night

Kevin Sundher had to work really hard at fighting back tears Wednesday night.

Normally a happy, smiling young man, the 17-year-old Surrey native shuffled his feet and stared at the floor, trying to process a 4-3 overtime loss to the Tri-City Americans.

Earlier that night, he’d been on top of the world, scoring a goal with 11.3 ticks left to cap off a miraculous last minute comeback and land his team in OT.

Sundher’s goal followed on the heels of a Jamie Crooks tally, which came with just 22.1 seconds left in regulation time.

A 3-1 deficit erased in the blink of an eye.

You had to see it to believe it.

Sadly, many who bought tickets to the game didn’t, flocking to the exits when it looked like the Bruins were heading for quiet defeat. It may be a very long time before they have the chance to witness something like that again.

Two last minute goals erased 59 minutes of frustration, and the Bruins came out for the extra session believing they were destined to win.

And they almost did.

Chilliwack carried the play in the extra session and if a Tri-City back-checker hadn’t caught up with Roman Horak as he teed up the potential game-winning shot from slot, we might be talking about a 2-2 series heading back to Kennewick.

But Disney script-writers had nothing to do with this one.

Kruise Reddick beat Lucas Gore through a maze of players with 4:51 left in the first overtime period, denying Chilliwack its fairytale ending and leading us back to Sundher, in the locker room, in the process of processing.

“This is a tough pill to swallow,” he said, slowly. “To work so hard and come back like that and then have it end the way it did, maybe it’ll seem a bit better in a day or two, but right now it really hurts.”

The overtime session was beyond description, full of end-to-end action and near misses at both ends.

“Every moment was so intense, and I thought we had them a couple times,” Sundher said. “But, the goal…”

A minute before Reddick ended the game, Gore made a spectacular save on Brendan Shinnimin, who teed up a wrist shot from 10 feet out. Gore’s glove plucked the puck out of the air, bringing the crowd to its feet.

They ooohed and aaahed as the Bruins buzzed around the Tri-City net, and the roof might literally have blown off Prospera Centre had they scored.

The whole scene caused ex-Bruins coach Jim Hiller to gush to the Tri-City Herald afterwards, “Oh my gosh. That right there is why people are so passionate about this sport.”

Chilliwack defenceman Matt Delahey, a veteran of 258 regular season and 21 playoff games in the Western Hockey League, can’t remember ever experiencing anything remotely close.

“The odds were against us, and it would have been easy to just roll over and die,” he said. “But we didn’t, and it was just a tough break at the end. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Delahey rarely came off the ice in overtime. When he did, it was for a 20 second break before he was right back out there. Potentially playing his last game in Chilliwack, the 20-year-old left everything on the ice.

But like his Western Hockey League career, Chilliwack’s post-season run may now be just one game away from ending, unless they can find a way to win in Kennewick, where they’ve only won twice in 11 all-time visits.

Once again, the odds are stacked heavily in Tri-City’s favour.

But if you were in Vegas right now with the chance to put a wager on the outcome of Game 5, would you really want to bet against Chilliwack?

See a weekend wrapup in the Tuesday Progress sports section.

Just Posted

Two years jail for Chilliwack man caught with six handguns threaded for silencers

Judge rules guns found by Conservation Officer search were to be distributed for a criminal purpose

Wide variety of art for sale at Art from the Heart show

Student art show runs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Murder victim Jagvir Malhi was not involved in gangs, says IHIT

Investigators say Abbotsford man was ‘associated to those involved’ in conflict

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

Chilliwack Curling Club moves into new building

After 54 years next door, the Chilliwack Curling Club takes over a 30,000 square foot facility.

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read