On Saturday, the Half Moon Bay Cougars 12-and-under inline hockey team surprised observers by winning the Cal Cup Championship at the Dry Ice Arena in Oakland. The Cougars beat the East Bay Mayhem, 6-5, clinching victory with a goal just six seconds before the buzzer.
Coach David Eblovi said the victory was even more impressive given the striking size and age disparity of his young Cougars team when compared with the Mayhem.
“I mean at least two or three of the opponents had five o’clock shadows,” he said with a smile.
The Cougars started out strong. They put four goals on the board during the first period with two goals by Junuh Eblovi and one each by Tyler Webb and Cameron Green. But they slipped over the course of the game as the Mayhem responded with five unanswered goals, leaving the score at 5-4 Mayhem, with just minutes left in the championship game.
In the final three minutes, Webb scored an equalizer with an assist from Green. Then, as the clock ticked down, Green lifted a saucer pass the length of the rink to a waiting Webb at the other end, who then worked it into a wraparound goal with just six seconds left on the clock, sealing the victory for the Cougars. It was the first for this group of kids.