In the biggest game of his life, with the Winnipeg ICE threatening to tie Game 5 of the WHL championship up with an unrelenting push to start the third period. Nico Myatovic found a way to steal their momentum.
He finished off a penalty shot snipe 2:27 into the third that gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a two-goal lead.
Turned out it was the cup-winning goal as Seattle hung on to beat the ICE 3-1 to win series and punch their ticket to the Memorial Cup.
It was sweet vindication for the 18-year-old Myatovic, a Prince George native who was denied the taste of a Western Hockey League championship a year ago when the T-birds lost the final in six games to the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Playoff MVP Thomas Milic was outstanding again in the Seattle nets, making 30 saves as his team outshot Winnipeg 38-31.
Sam Popowich opened the scoring Friday in front of sellout crowd of 6,202 at Assesso Showare Center in Kent, Wash.
Myatovic had a hand in that goal as well, feeding the puck back to defenceman Nolan Allan, who dished it to Jeremy Hanzel for the shot from point that Popowich tipped.
Myatovic was awarded the penalty shot after he was sprung free on a breakaway with a pass from Colton Dach and got tripped by ICE defenceman Graham Sward.
Myatovic faked Hauser with a backhand deke and went wide to his forehand side to tuck the puck into the net.
The ICE got within a goal of tying it when Evan Friesen scored from the slot a few minutes later.
The T-birds were forced to kill off a penalty to captain Lucas Ciona with four minutes left but survived unscathed as they held Winnipeg without a shot.
Kyle Crynkovic added an empty-net goal with 1:02 left.
With their Ed Chynoweth Cup win, the T-birds will advance to the Memorial Cup which starts Friday in Kamloops.