A week before the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s year-end atom championship, Canadian Tire lost their goalie to an injury.
Kieran Mooney, the goalie who had played with the team during the rest of the season, was medevaced to B.C. with a broken femur.
The first call his dad made was to the team’s coaches: Kurt Neunherz and Warren Kapaniuk.
Mooney was worried about letting the team down, said Kapaniuk.
He needn’t have worried.
WMHA allowed the team to borrow goalies from the other four teams. Over the four-day tournament, Canadian Tire had four different goalies.
Jamie King and Kyan Morrison played in net for them, as well as Quinn Monahan, who started the final against Whitehorse Beverages.
“They beat us earlier in the tournament,” said Neunherz of their finals opponents.
“They were essentially the team to beat.”
Canadian Tire put on a strong first period, with Liam Milford and Evan Hays finding the back of the net.
Almost midway through the second period, Monahan stretched awkwardly to save a shot from Whitehorse Beverages’ Bryn Studney-Amos. He didn’t get up and was helped off the ice.
Monahan injured a ligament behind his knee, said Neunherz, but with some rest, he will be fine.
Canadian Tire was given 15 minutes to dress another goalie.
Landon Nadeau, a forward in his first year playing hockey immediately volunteered.
It was his second time in net.
Up 2-0, Canadian Tire rallied around Nadeau, blocking shots when they could and making the defensive end busy.
But they didn’t spend much time near Nadeau, preferring instead to be on the attack. They were up 4-0 by the end of the second period.
Whitehorse Beverages is normally stronger in the later half of the game, said coach Serge Michaud.
“We typically have a slow start,” he said. “We are not much of a first period team.”
The group lived up to its reputation, scoring all three of their goals in the third period. Kaelan Basnett had two points, while Aidan Lund-Rayner also netted two points (a goal and an assist).
“We just had a really fun, positive team,” said Michaud. “I think we ran out of gas.”
He praised Monahan’s goaltending too: “He stood on his head.”
As the action played out in the rink, Mooney’s dad texted him updates.
The team, which had a tough start to the season, finally had their storybook ending, winning the year-end tournament 5-1 in the final.
“It was incredible. It was an amazing run right from the start of the season,” said Neunherz.
And Mooney’s reaction from his bed at the Vancouver Children’s Hospital?
“He was pretty excited.”