The Lancaster Firebirds 14U-A (American) team won the DVHL playoff championship this past Sunday defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-0. It was the first loss of the season for the Penguins who had finished in first place with a record of 27-0-1. Coming into the game as prohibitive underdogs, the plucky Firebirds played a tencious checking game against the bigger, faster Penguins. Kian Oehme was a wall in net, stopping all 24 shots he faced, many of the difficult variety, to earn the shutout.
The Firebirds got on the scoreboard six minutes into the second period with Tyler Zimmerman feathering a pass across the front of the net to Oliver Kowal, who one-timed the puck into net for the eventual game-winning goal. The last ten minutes of the third period saw the Penguins make a big push to tie the game. Several Firebirds players made big shot blocks to help preserve the lead. With just over 30 seconds remaining and their goalie pulled the Penguins were pressing in the Firebirds zone. Defenceman Brady Weller was able to corral the puck and chip it out of the zone and down the ice. Sebastian Elias out-raced the last Penguins defender to tap the puck into the empty net and seal the victory.
As the buzzer sounded, gloves, sticks and helmets went flying as the team poured off the bench to mob their goalie and celebrate their improbable victory. Each player in turn received their championship hat from the DVHL and then the four captains were presented with the championship banner which will be hung in the Lancaster Ice Rink.
The Firebirds had reached the championship game by defeating cross-town rival Central Penn 2-1 on Friday night in the semi-final. With Central Penn up 1-0 in the third period, Tyler Zimmerman was sent in alone by Oliver Kowal to tie the game. With only a little over five minutes remaining in the game, Oliver Kowal buried what would be his first of two playoff game-winning goals on a feed from Chase Eberly. Kian Oehme was stellar in net stopping 28 of 29 shots.