The Cochrane Rockies Tier 1 team has become the second Rockies team to bring home a provincial championship in 26 years.

The Rockies won the banner in a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory against the Drayton Valley Stars in Grande Prairie on Apr. 3.

"The final game was pretty emotional, and there was a lot of tension in the room and on the ice," says head coach Brad Kile. "Throughout the tournament, our team kept getting stronger and kept building and building."

The Stars had beaten the Rockies 4-3 in round-robin play, and the rematch for the title was equally intense.

"They were a very good team," says Kile. "At times, we felt like we were just persevering, and at times we felt like we were on our heels, but we stuck together as a team. We put the pucks deep and got them to the net. In overtime, we were fortunate to get the win to let the kids celebrate a provincial championship."

"It is something to cherish, and it is something special. You hope you get it more than once in your career, but even to achieve it once is something you hope the kids, coaches, and families will never forget, which I'm pretty sure they won't as their hockey careers evolve."

The final berth into the semifinals was between the Rockies and Edmonton's Confederation team and came down to who scored the most goals in the round-robin.

It was Auxtyn Kile who scored the winner with his seventh goal of the tournament. He was the Rockies' top scorer and was second among all teams.

Auxtyn says the goal came after a Rockies defenceman took a shot from the point that deflexed off of a Stars player. The Rockies centre picked up the puck, sent it Auxtyn's way, and he fired the shot through the five-hole.

He describes the win as something he'll never forget.

Team captain Van Lof said the energy in the arena for the finals was amazing, and the team was ready to grind it out.

"I always had faith in our team. It was all about the drive. Our work ethic was there that day, and I had a feeling that we were going to come out on top."

He says it was an amazing honour to represent Cochrane at the provincials.

Goalie Linden Sobacan had a stand-out performance with the second-best goals-against average in the tournament.

"I know Cochrane hasn't done it in quite a while, so being the first to do it is was really rewarding."

"We felt we had a good chance because the first game was close. We knew who we were playing, and we knew we could definitely beat them.|

"It felt amazing. All our hard work paid off, and the scoreboard agreed."

Many of the players stayed overnight in Grande Prairie to celebrate the win, and a much larger celebration is in the works that Coach Kile expects to be fun and explosive.

The names of the team's players and coaches are being added to their two banners before they are raised in the Totem One arena. 

He commends Grande Prairie volunteers and Hockey Alberta for going above and beyond in organizing the provincial tournament.