Marcel Fuchs and Kelly Loudoun scored hat-tricks to send Kelowna Sparta back to the Coy Cup senior men’s AA hockey championship tournament, to be held March 27-31 in Williams Lake.
Fuchs netted three goals, including the overtime winner, as Sparta prevailed 5-4 over the visiting Powell River Regals this past Friday at CNC in the opener of their semifinal series.
Loudoun matched that feat in a more lopsided 10-4 victory on Saturday as Sparta advanced to the Coy Cup for the second year in a row. The Kelowna club finished as runner-up to the host Whitehorse Huskies last year in Sparta’s inaugural season.
Shane Mainprize backstopped both wins for Sparta, making 32 and 39 saves, respectively.
On Friday, Taylor Jordan opened the scoring for Kelowna in the opening frame and Fuchs’ first goal — a power-play marker — made it 2-1 through two periods.
The teams traded four goals in the third period, with Alex Dzielski scoring the 3-2 goal on a power play before Fuchs’ second go-ahead goal put Sparta up 4-3.
Powell River pulled even for the fourth time late in regulation, but Fuchs put on the finishing touch at 11:19 of the first overtime period.
Saturday’s rematch started off close again, with the teams tied 2-2 after the first period — Sparta getting goals from Tylor Branzsen and Layne Stopanski.
However, Kelowna pulled away with five unanswered goals in the second period, including Loudoun’s first of the night that made it 6-2. Aaron Buat, Jordan, Dave Mann and Branzsen, with his second of the game, also scored in that dominant middle frame.
Loudoun scored again on the first shift of the third period — just 15 seconds in — and completed his hat-trick at 11:30 in running the rout up to 9-2.
Powell River pushed back with two late goals before Sasha Golin rounded out the scoring for Sparta in the final minute.
The Coy Cup will be a four-team tournament featuring Sparta, host Williams Lake, Dawson Creek and Terrace.
-Larry Fisher, The Daily Courier