The Vernon Vipers and the Humboldt Broncos will battle for the Royal Bank Cup championship after both clubs earned victories in the national Junior A hockey semifinals Friday night in Victoria.
Shawn Hunter scored with 2.3 seconds remaining in the first overtime to give the defending champion Broncos a 3-2 victory over the hometown Victoria Grizzlies.
Hunter poked the puck after a shot trickled through Victoria goalie Anthony Grieco's legs and stopped before the goal-line.
"It was huge, it was nice to get that one," Hunter said of the goal. "We've been having trouble getting going in some of these games, I don't know why, but we'll be good to go [Sunday]."
Humboldt played catch-up for much of the game, trailing 1-0 and 2-1 to the Grizzlies. Broncos captain Brady Wacker tied things up 2-2 on an unassisted effort just over five minutes into the final period to send the game to overtime.
"I didn't think we panicked," said Humboldt coach and GM Dean Brockman. "It's a sign of a veteran team that has played in a game like this before — I didn't see a lot of panic in our guys and we kept battling through."
The Broncos will take on Vernon in Sunday's final.
Bryce Kakoske and Cameron Brodie scored 32-seconds apart in the opening period as the Vipers downed the Kingston Voyageurs 6-3 in the earlier semifinal matchup.
"My line played really well and our power play was clicking," Kakoske said afterward. "We've been waiting all year to play in these games, so it felt good to finally help out a little bit."