The Sturgeon Heights Huskies are the Winnipeg High School Hockey League champions.
The Huskies defeated the Garden City Gophers 5-4 in the deciding Game 3 of the Division 1 final on Wednesday to win the championship series two games to one.
The Gophers had a two-goal lead in the third period, but the Huskies mounted a late comeback, as they scored three times in the final frame to claim the victory.
After having a potential go-ahead goal disallowed for using a high stick only minutes earlier, Ryan Ostermann scored the game winner for the Huskies with just 88 seconds left in regulation time.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed in my life, even when I was a player when I was younger,” said Huskies head coach Tyler Metcalfe.
“To watch these guys believe in one another, even when they’re behind there in the third period. We’ve been preaching to them in this last two-week stretch here in playoffs just to believe, believe, believe. And my God, what a finish. It’s amazing, an amazing feeling. I’m so proud of these guys.”
WATCH: Highlights, Game 3 — Garden City vs. Sturgeon Heights
Cayden Onagi had two goals for Sturgeon Heights. Ostermann, Cody Gibbs and Zachary Greenwood also scored for the Huskies in the win.
Nolan Weihs had a pair for the Gophers, while Alex Loschiavo and Cody Lourenco also found the net for Garden City.
After finishing in third place in the regular season, the Huskies swept both the Dakota Lancers and two-time defending champions St. Paul’s Crusaders to get to the final.
The Huskies lost to St. Paul’s in last year’s championship series.
It’s the first city championship in hockey for Sturgeon Heights Collegiate. Before amalgamating with Silver Heights Collegiate, the Sturgeon Creek Schooners won the inaugural Winnipeg High School Hockey League championship back in 1987.
“We have the whole school behind us,” Huskies forward and MVP Ostermann said. “They’re great supporters and they’ve been with us all year. It’s going to be huge for the school, and it’s going to inspire the next players to want to play here.”
WATCH: Sturgeon Heights post-game reaction
The Gophers will get a chance at redemption during the provincial championship starting on March 8 at the Bell MTS Iceplex.