Leave it to a former defenceman to settle matters in a back and forth series that would go right down to the wire, and beyond.
Noah Kohan snapped home the series-winning tally on a short-handed clear cut breakaway just 1:09 into overtime, lifting the Nickel City Major Peewee "AAA" Sons to a 2-1 win over the Sudbury Major Peewee "AAA" Wolves.
The goal not only carried the Sons to a 3-2 series triumph, but also spoiled an outstanding effort between the pipes from Sudbury netminder Andrew Marois. The young puck stopper finished with 32 saves, including many key tough stops in the third period alone as Nickel City looked to back-up their first place finish in regular season play.
The Sons opened the scoring as Alex Chartier netted the only goal of the opening frame on the power play, with Kyle Perreault pulling the Wolves even midway through the middle stanza.
Logan Carr picked up the win between the pipes for Nickel City with a 24-save effort, in a game that would all come down to a Sudbury power play opportunity with just 34 seconds remaining in regulation time.
The Sons would hold on through the final half minute and then take advantage of a blocked shot at the blue line, with Kohan enjoying just enough separation from the Wolves' defenders hot in pursuit.
"If the goalie is out, you should deke, and if he's in, then I shoot," said Kohan of his breakaway strategy. "He was in and I thought the blocker was open, so I just aimed for there. I thought I had missed the net, then I saw it went in."
After Nickel City took game one with a 3-0 shutout, the Wolves stormed back, capturing games two (4-1) and three (3-2 in OT). A 3-1 Sons victory last Sunday at Carmichael forced a fifth and deciding game. This wasn't your typical first vs fourth NOHL matchup, with only ten points separating the teams at the end of the regular season.
It's no surprise that coach Shawn Frappier and company were not about to look past a team which consistently seemed to be able to rise up to the challenge of the Major Peewee front-runners.
"We had to pressure them a lot, always go hard to the net, try and create chances - basically play the hardest game we can play," said Kohan.
Just back from their appearance at the 2018 Ontario Winter Games earlier this month, Kohan and company will be right back at it this coming weekend, hosting the first two contests of the league championship series, with the North Bay Major Peewee "AAA" Trappers providing the opposition.