Brett Rider’s overtime goal gave the Stettler Legion Blues the North Central Minor Hockey Association midget A championship Monday night at the Stettler Recreation Centre.
The Blues won 7-6 to sweep the best-of-three final 2-0 and capture the Tier 1 banner.
One night earlier, Stettler scored four unanswered goals in the third period to win 7-3 at Rimbey.
Later this week, the Blues are off to Provost for the provincial midget B championship.
On Monday night in Stettler, the Blues were the comeback kids. Micah Croker converted a pass from captain Parker Cassidy with just 50 seconds left in regulation time to force overtime.
It was Croker’s second goal of the game.
Riley Anderson, Chase McGonigal, Logan Davidson and Brogan Cassidy also scored for Stettler, which came back from 2-0, 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5 deficits. Justin McKenzie contributed three assists.
Devon Woelk finished the game in the Stettler net and allowed just one goal on 15 shots through 25 minutes in relief of Jordan McCallum.
Douglas Wing had a hat trick for Rimbey, and league scoring champion Kale Lapointe added a goal and two assists. Milton Elliott recorded three assists.
Stettler fired 49 shots at Nolan Carruthers, while Rimbey managed a combined 40 against Woelk and McCallum.
In the series-opener Sunday, Davidson powered Stettler with three goals and an assist.
McGonigal contributed a goal and two assists, Anderson bagged three assists, Croker netted a goal and one helper, and Stefan du Toit had a goal.
Lapointe led Rimbey with two goals and an assist.
Stettler recorded 35 shots against Cody Scott (22 saves on 28 shots through 52 minutes) and Carruthers (six saves on seven shots through eight minutes).
The Blues broke open a 3-3 game in the final period, beginning with Croker’s winner six minutes into the period.
Stettler goaltender Woelk picked up an assist on Davidson’s first goal.
In the regular season, Lapointe was the runaway scoring champion, with 59 goals and 114 points in 28 games.
In second place was teammate Tye Munro, with 44 goals and 71 points in 28 games.
Stettler’s Davidson was sixth in league scoring with 26 goals and 43 points in 26 games.
At the eight-team provincial championship in Provost, the Zone 7 champion Blues are in Pool B with Sexsmith, Bow Island and Olds.
Provost, Lac la Biche, Edson and Devon make up Pool A.
Stettler plays twice Friday — at 9 a.m. against Bow Island and at 8:30 p.m. versus Sexsmith. On Saturday, the Blues face Olds at 5:15 p.m.
The semifinal games are scheduled for 8:30 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday, with the final set for 4:45 p.m.
PEEWEE A PROVINCIALS ON TAP THIS WEEKEND
Meanwhile, the Stettler Storm are bound for the provincial peewee A championship, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Hinton.
For preliminary play, Stettler is in a pool with Peace River, Lethbridge, Beaumont and Spruce Grove.
Stettler’s first game is at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against Lethbridge.
The gold-medal game in the 10-team tournament is slated for 3 p.m. Sunday.
In the past week, Stettler was involved in the North Central playoffs, but lost two games — 3-1 on Saturday and 10-4 last Wednesday — to the Rocky Mountain House Vipers.
Stettler’s lone scorer on Sunday was Daylan Kuefler, who leads the league with five goals and 20 points in just four games.
Kuefler also won the league’s regular-season scoring championship, with 31 goals and 67 points in 22 games.
In last week’s loss, Kuefler assisted on all four Stettler goals. James Switenky, with a hat trick, and Brenden Tucker were the Stettler scorers.