The Smithers Steelheads bested the Williams Lake Stampeders twice on the weekend to take the 2012/2013 CIHL championship.

Steelheads crowned CIHL champions

The Smithers Steelheads defeated the Stampeders 6-3 Saturday night and 7-3 on Sunday afternoon to win the league championship.

The Smithers Steelheads are CIHL Champions for the second year in a row.

The Steelheads came back to the Smithers Civic Centre last weekend down one game to Williams Lake in the best-of-three series, needing to win two straight to capture the SMP Cup.

The Fish did not disappoint, coming out hard in both matches, defeating the Stampeders 6-3 Saturday night and 7-3 on Sunday afternoon to win the league championship.

“Last year was great, this year is great and playing a good team like Williams Lake is really rewarding,” coach Tom DeVries said.

“It’s really fun to hang out with these guys.

“They’re really good guys.”

Despite having their back against the wall, defenceman Spencer Brooks said the team never lost confidence in their ability to win two in a row.

“We knew coming back home down one game we were going to play well at our own rink,” Brooks said.

“As long as we beat their goalie early and often we were going to win because our defence and our goaltending is so solid.”

Randall Groot said the team felt good about their chances in the final two games, due in large part to the excellent play of goalie Mike Wall.

“I have to give credit where credit is due,” Groot said.

“Mike Wall is constantly making big saves for us.

“I can’t say enough about him.”

Ian Smith, who led the Steelheads in playoff scoring, was named playoff MVP.

“It’s being in the right place at the right time, really,” Smith said.

“My teammates are the ones that fed me the puck.”

The Steelheads finished with a regular season record of 18 wins and 3 losses. They lost lost just twice in three playoff series against the Houston Luckies, Kitimat Ice Demons and Williams Lake Stampeders.

The team’s three losses all happened in succession at the end of the year, which had some teams wondering if the Steelheads were going to be able to finish what they had started, Smith said.

“We just wanted redemption last year,” Smith said.

“This year, everyone was gunning for us so we wanted to go out on top and show the league that we’ve still got it.

“Some people didn’t think we were for real, and we proved it tonight that we were.”

Was this win more meaningful than last year’s SMP Cup?

“I think the first time was the sweetest,” Smith said.

“This is just icing on the cake right now.”

The season is now over for the Steelhead as they chose to opt out of this year’s Coy Cup, because it would essentially be another tournament with teams they have been playing against all season.

The expense and time were not worth the extra effort, the team decided.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en return to camps near Houston, Coastal GasLink workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

VIDEO: Conservation officers, farmer rescue two elk under collapsed haystack in Smithers

The conservation officers and farmer were surprised to find more than one elk underneath the haystack

Northern Health recommends self-quarantine for people returning from Hubei

The healthcare provider said it isn’t neccessary for healthy children to wear face masks

CN blockade taken down as federal, provincial representatives agree to meet with hereditary chiefs

CN blockade taken down as federal, provincial representatives agree to meet with hereditary chiefs

Gitxsan man posts 2019 resignation from military after latest RCMP enforcement of pipeline order

Daryn Forsyth said he could no longer serve a Crown whose actions he disagreed with

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read