The Dauphin Kings came up short in their championship quest.
The Kings, who lost the Manitoba Junior Hockey League final to the Winnipeg Blues and the Western Canada Cup final to the Yorkton Terriers, had their hopes of becoming national Junior A hockey champions crushed in the Royal Bank Cup semifinals on Saturday night in Vernon, B.C. Dauphin was tied 3-3 with the Carleton Place Canadians heading into the third period, but came out flat, managing just two shots on net and fell 5-3.
"We’re usually well-known for having excellent third periods, but for some reason we were flat-footed and didn’t move our feet," said Kings head coach/general manager Marlin Murray. "Likely overthought every process, but when it’s all said and done, we have to give Carleton some credit for coming hard."
Brandon’s Brayden Cuthbert and Souris’s Tanner Butler scored for the Kings, with Killarney’s Jesse Bernard picking up helpers on both markers, while Michael Stiliadis — was named the tournament’s MVP and top goalie — stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced.
Dauphin won its first three games at the RBC Cup and finished atop the round robin with a 3-1 record before meeting the Canadians in the semifinals.
Although the Kings returned home a disappointed group, Murray felt his team had a good run at the RBC Cup.
"I’m pretty proud of the guys," the Melita native said. "They peaked at the right time and represented the city of Dauphin really well out here. It’s going to be tough because we had a legitimate shot at winning a national championship. We were just as good as anyone out here, but unfortunately we didn’t get it done."
The Kings also featured Brandon’s Mitch Van Teeling, Killarney’s Aubrey Chapman, Souris’ Hudson Morrison, Virden’s Cameron Whyte and Cartwright’s Tristen Mullin.