Maybe it wasn't the ending they had envisioned but the outcome certainly wasn't due to a lack of effort.
The Muskie boys' hockey team saw its season come to a screeching halt Tuesday night as the Sioux Lookout Warriors pulled out a thrilling 4-3 double-overtime victory at the packed Ice For Kids Arena in the third-and-deciding game to claim the NorWOSSA crown.
It was the first league title for the Warriors, who now advance to the all-Ontarios set for March 19-23 in Collingwood.
Fort High fired a whopping 80-plus shots on Warriors' goalie Jayden Marshall, who put in a stellar performance between the pipes.
Connor Nelson opened the scoring for the Muskies after co-captain Eric Pitkanen had tried to beat Marshall with a short-handed wraparound attempt.
The puck ended up squirting out front to where Nelson was ready and waiting to fire it home just 1:44 into the game.
The Warriors drew even when Ben Forbes deked around the Muskie defence before walking in and beating Darian Klem with a backhander at 15:20 of the second.
Sioux Lookout then took a 2-1 lead when Kendall Schulz tipped a shot from the point into the Muskie net that Klem had no chance of stopping.
The black-and-gold tied it when defenceman Austin Armstrong fired a snap shot past Marshall with time running out on a man advantage.
But Cortez Favot gave the Warriors the lead again in the latter stages on the third, when he made a few impressive dekes before blazing a backhander over Klem.
With their season on the line and time running out, the Muskies pulled Klem in favour of an extra attacker.
Kaleb Bruyere eventually found a loose puck in a goal-mouth scramble and promptly fired the game-tying goal home with just 1.7 seconds left on the clock—much to the delight of the raucous home crowd.
After the first overtime solved nothing, the game moved to a second extra frame.
The Muskies piled on chance after chance but could not find a way to put the winner past Marshall.
It eventually came back to haunt them as the Warriors fired the winning goal past a devastated Klem with just 33.9 seconds left.
Klem finished with 40-plus saves in taking the loss.