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Unlikely hero helps University of Alberta Golden Bears win 16th University Cup

Click to play video: '‘It was such a grind:’ University Cup MVP Stephane Legault' ‘It was such a grind:’ University Cup MVP Stephane Legault
WATCH ABOVE: University Cup MVP Stephane Legault talks about the big win, and how heavy the trophy really is! – Mar 19, 2018

A player who once described himself as a defensive defenceman scored the biggest goal of the University of Alberta Golden Bears season.

“It was pretty surreal to put the puck in the net for the game-winning goal,” said Wil Tomchuk, whose second period goal turned out to the be winner as the Bears beat St. FX 4-2 Sunday afternoon to claim their 16th national title.

READ MORE: Golden Bears men’s hockey team captures 16th national championship

It was just Tomchuk’s second goal in three years with Alberta. He’s still listed as a defenceman on the team’s website, but was playing forward in the University Cup.

“Our mentality is ‘next man up.’ We were put in a situation because of injuries, sickness, and suspension, Wil’s opportunity showed up at Nationals. He worked for that opportunity,” said head coach Serge Lajoie. “He was the absolute consummate pro.”

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Tomchuk only played a total of 10 games all season. He was more accustomed to being a healthy scratch than being in the lineup.

“Not giving up. Always working hard. Not making a fuss about anything. Coaches gave me an opportunity, and I just took it and went with it,” Tomchuck said.

 

 

“A guy like Wil, not always a regular, but worked his butt off everyday in practice. He stepped in whenever he was called upon and did an awesome job,” said Stephane Legault, who was named University Cup MVP. “It’s great to see him get rewarded for all his hard work.”

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READ MORE: Golden Bears/Ooks Face Off Game returns to Northlands

The Golden Bears took a tense path to the the title. They were down 2-0 in the third period to rival Saskatchewan in the semi-final, but came back to win in overtime. Against St. FX, they trailed 2-0 before the game was nine minutes old.

“There was no doubt. We knew we were coming back. There was no panic at all,” said Tomchuk.

“National finals, you have nothing to save it for. We knew we just had to work hard and good things would happen,” said Legault.

 

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