STEINBACH – The similarities between the 2009 and 2016 Allan Cup finals are remarkable.
For the second time in the last eight seasons the Bentley Generals defeated the South East Prairie Thunder in the Allan Cup Final to win the Canadian Men’s Senior AAA Hockey Championship.
The Generals beat the Thunder in their own backyard 4-3 in overtime to win their third Allan Cup in franchise history. Turn back the clock to the 2009 Allan Cup where the Generals also defeated the Prairie Thunder in the final. It was also in Steinbach and also by a 4-3 score in overtime.
“Every year it is a different tournament, a different group.” said Generals captain Don Morrison. “There’s a lot of turnover of guys but yeah it was kinda, it was like it was. We scored the overtime winner in the exact same end as well.”
In what was also a rematch of last years final, the Generals avenged the loss and ended the Prairie Thunder’s one year reign as champions.
“Obviously it’s not the outcome we wanted.” said Prairie Thunder forward Steph Pattyn.
“I thought we played really well. We had a lot of chances to finish it in regulation alone. I thought we could’ve probably put a couple in that we didn’t and couple a mistakes in our d-zone that cost us. Obviously it stings right now, but we’ll re-group and we’ll come back next year.”
The Generals trailed 3-2 in the third period. Ian Schultz tied it up with a powerplay goal with 10:22 remaining. Carter Rigby ended it 15:47 into the extra period with his second goal of the game.
“Unbelievable.” Rigby said. “I’ve never had a goal that big. Never won a championship. To get that, speechless.”
Bentley captain Don Morrison hoists the Allan Cup trophy. Mike Arsenault / Global News
Bentley captain Don Morrison hoists the Allan Cup trophy.
Mike Arsenault / Global News
It was the Generals seventh appearance in the final in the last nine years.
Tyler Dittmer scored twice for the Thunder in the loss. Del Cowan scored the other marker for South East. Steve Christie stopped 33 of 37 shots.
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Former Brandon Wheat Kings forward Terry Yake was in the lineup for the Prairie Thunder. He played 403 NHL games over 12 seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals. After the game the now 47-year-old said this would be his last Allan Cup.
“This one will sting for quite a while cause for me this will be the last one. I’m not gonna get another kick at the cat.” said Yake. “It’s time to call it a day. I can’t help too much anymore. I think it’s time to let the kids take over and let them play.”
A nearly capacity crowd of close to 1,300 watched the final at the TG Smith Centre.
The 2017 Allan Cup will be played in New Brunswick at a yet to be announced location.
WATCH: Post game reaction following the Allan Cup final