KENSINGTON – Chandler Wood followed the advice of an unlikely source in scoring “the biggest goal I’ve ever scored.”
Wood found the back of the net 3:27 into overtime to give the Wild a 3-2 championship-clinching win over the Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride on Saturday night. Wood’s goal, which sent a large contingent of Wild fans into a frenzy at Credit Union Centre in Kensington, previously Community Gardens, gave the Wild a 4-1 series win in the best-of-seven provincial major midget hockey championship.
That source of advice was Wild goaltending coach Nelson MacAulay.
“I just stripped the winger off the wall, cut to the middle and went down the Royal Road as Nellie has preached to us all season, shot low blocker and got lucky,” said the 17-year-old Wood in describing the winning goal.
When asked “Royal Road?,” Wood smiled and said: “It’s his (MacAulay) goalie way of thinking. It’s the way they break it all down for us.”
Wood, who is an assistant captain and has been battling a cold all week, is in his second and final season with the Wild after playing his first year of midget eligibility with the Alberton-based Western Regals of the P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League.
“I have a soft spot in my heart for Woody,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “Not just (Saturday), but all playoffs he stepped up. . . These guys will remember the feeling they have right now, and who they are with. It’s a pretty proud moment for us, and it’s great to do it on home ice.”
Wood’s heroics also capped a memorable Saturday night for the Wood family, which lives in Coleman. Chandler’s younger brother, Carson, is a forward with the O’Leary-based Prince County Warriors, who defeated the Central Attack 3-2 in Charlottetown and win the P.E.I. Major Bantam AAA Hockey League title in a fifth and deciding game.
“It’s going to be a happy night at the Wood household,” said Chandler. “It’s crazy.”
Chandler and Carson are the sons of Dale and Bonnie Wood.