The Vernon Vipers secured their place in Canadian junior A hockey history with a fifth national title Sunday night, winning the Royal Bank Cup in Victoria with a 2-0 victory over the Humboldt Broncos of Saskatchewan.
Vipers centre Braden Pimm scored the eventual game-winner for the B.C.-based team on the power play when he found the loose puck in a scrum and shot it past Mathieu LaRochelle near the midway mark of the second period.
"It's unbelievable, you can't describe it in words," said Mark Ferner, Vipers head coach and GM.
"All the hard work that these kids put in to get to this point, and unfortunately there has to be a loser, but I think we're a very deserving team."
Humboldt's best chance came near the middle of the second period when Tory Allan had a breakaway.
Allan crashed into the net and the puck appeared to cross the line. However, the goal was waved off after a quick discussion by the on-ice officials.
Net off moorings
"It sucks," admitted Broncos captain Brady Wacker. "The refs talked about it for a bit there and I guess they decided the net was off.
"It's a bit of a letdown, but there's nothing we could do about it."
The game saw three 20-year-olds have their junior careers ended early when they were handed checking-from-behind game misconducts.
Vernon's Ryan Santana and Chris Crowell, along with Humboldt's Matthew Kirzinger, all saw their careers end on a sour note.
The Vipers took a 2-0 lead six minutes into the third period, on the power play, when tournament MVP Kyle Bigos skated in off the half-boards and deposited the puck five-hole on LaRochelle.
"It hasn't really hit yet," said Bigos, who is eligible for this June's NHL draft.
"It just feels so good just to know you went all the way to the end and beat everybody — there's no one else to beat left. It's just a great feeling."