The Olds Broncos looked unbeatable throughout the round robin, but Lakeland College proved anything can happen on the court. The Rustlers offense came in waves and goalie Zach Wagner stood tall in net as Lakeland pulled off a 5-4 upset to advance to the ACAC championship game.
The Rustlers opened the scoring with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Cutting to his left, Chase Cal reversed track, shooting against his body to freeze goalie Jaxson Simon as he slipped the shot just inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. Olds pushed hard for the equalizer, with tournament scoring leader Fabian Gromenida getting a pair of back-to-back great chances off steals, but Rustlers goalie Zach Wagner was equal to the task, keeping his team ahead by one at the break.
Sensing an upset may be in the works, the Olds Broncos came out firing in the second half. After some strong saves by Wagner, Landon Murphy was finally able to deposit a loose ball for his sixth of the tournament, tying the game at one. The pesky Rustlers would not go quietly, as Josh Hatzenbuuhler took advantage of a free kick to restore the Lakeland lead. It lasted for less than two minutes, however, before Luiz Guimaraes deflected a side kick off a Rustlers player and in to tie it at two. But Lakeland just kept on coming, with Hatzenbuuhler and Cal scoring just over a minute apart to make it 4-2. Gromenida got Olds back within one with his 11th of the tournament, but a beautiful individual effort by Cal for his hat trick restored the two-goal edge. Wagner took it home from there, stopping Guimaraes on a penalty kick to preserve the upset. The Rustlers advance to face Keyano for gold at 5:45 p.m. Olds will play Lethbridge for bronze at 3 p.m.
Lakeland: Cal 3, Hatzenbuuhler 2
Olds: Murphy, Guimaraes, Gromenida, Wolff
Players of the game:
Lakeland: Chase Cal
Olds: Fabian Gromenida