After a devastating loss, the Carleton Place Canadians will be honoured for their run to the RBC Cup with a welcome-home ceremony and parade on Tuesday.
The way councillor Rob Probert tells it, the whole town was watching Sunday night as their team took on Yorktown Terriers in the final game.
"It was very quiet around town because people were glued to the TVs and you could hear a collective cheer through the neighbourhood whenever there was a goal scored," he said.
And there was lots to cheer about for most of the game. The Canadians led 3-1 at the end of the second period. But in the last three minutes of the third period, their Saskatchewan rivals scored twice — in just eight seconds — and went on to win in sudden-death overtime. It was the first Canadian Junior A championship for the Terriers.
"We're proud [of getting to the final], but it's a sour taste, for sure," Carleton Place coach Jason Clarke said after the game in Vernon, B.C.
Canadians franchise only in its 5th year
The Canadians franchise, only in its fifth year, surprised and delighted fans with their run to the cup, Probert said.
"They had an incredible season. They won 95 per cent of their games and then went on to win the regional title, then the Eastern Canada title and off to Vernon," he said.
Graham Ingram has been following the team since day one. He had his eyes glued to the screen as the Canadians fall apart at the end of the third period.
"I yelled, 'Oh, no!' And eight seconds later, I said it again. Louder," Ingram said.
But like many others in town, he said he's still proud of what the Canadians accomplished this season — and optimistic to see where the team goes in the future.
"I didn't expect this for eight, maybe 10 years. We're five years ahead of the game," he said.
Ingram plans to greet the team Tuesday evening at the parade. It is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall on Bridge Street and continue down Albert Street toward the arena. Players will meet with fans and sign autographs at the area until 8 p.m.