It turned out to be a memorable inaugural year for the Mission Secondary School Roadrunners in the British Columbia High School Hockey League.
After a strong regular season, Mission stormed through the playoffs and won the BCHSHL Tier 2 championship with a 3-2 shootout win over the MEI Eagles in Coquitlam on Saturday.
MEI got on the board first just 1:26 into the first period, but Mission tied it up less than a minute later on a goal from Dayton Spink.
The game remained tied at one until the halfway mark of the third period, when MSS forward Kyle Mooney scored off the rush on assists from Jamie Housch and Sean Sidhu.
MEI wasn’t about to fold, however, as they tied it at two on a scramble in front of MSS goalie Chad Cromar.
Cromar shut the door the rest of the third period and stopped every shot in the 10-minute 4-on-4 overtime period, but that was just the start – Cromar stopped all five MEI shooters in the shootout to lead MSS to the championship.
After Mooney scored on his shootout attempt, Cromar made the game-winning stop. MSS players poured off the bench to swarm their goalie and celebrate the title.
Roadrunners head coach John Kapty said Cromar put the team on his back after the second goal.
“From that moment onward, Chad was absolutely dominant,” he said. “He was having a great game, and wasn’t happy about that one. He took the rest of the game into his own hands.”
The Roadrunners finished with a perfect record of four wins and no losses during BCHSHL regular-season play, which ran from March 31 to April 21. They opened the playoffs with a 6-1 win over the W.J. Mouat Hawks on home ice on May 2, and advanced to the Tier 2 final with a 7-6 win over Archbishop Secondary School in Burnaby on May 11.
Kapty also won two junior varsity B.C. high school football championships with MSS in 2010 and 2012.
Kapty credits his experience with MSS football coaches Kevin Watrin and Danny Jakobs for the new-found hockey success.
“I’m trying to build the MSS hockey program on the same blueprint as the successful MSS football program,” he said.