Luke Bertolucci will be bringing home one unforgettable souvenir for the Canada Winter Games in Halifax.
The 15-year-old Montrose native has a gold medal hanging around his neck after he helped the Team B.C. male hockey team defeat Quebec 7-4 in the title game Friday evening.
Bertolucci, who was on his way home Sunday and was unavailable for comment, definitely had a hand in the deciding win.
Quebec jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead but Bertolucci tied the game with his first goal of the tournament.
B.C. added another goal, captain’s Curtis Lazar’s first of three, to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The provincial team kept that two-goal cushion after 40 minutes and carried a 4-2 lead into the third period.
Quebec clawed back in the final frame scoring twice to tie the game with six minutes left in regulation time.
But B.C. responded with two goals of their own before Lazar sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
Lazar’s three-goal performance made him the tournament scoring leader with 12 goals and 17 points. Those totals set new Canada Winter Games marks.
Current NHL star Steve Stamkos held the previous record for most goals while Sidney Crosby held the record for most points in the Games tournament.
The win marked the first time since 1979 that B.C. has won the male hockey gold medal.
The last time a Canada Winter Games hockey medal returned to the Home of Champions was 1999 when Mike Mondin was an assistant coach for Team BC, which won a bronze medal in Newfoundland.
Four more local athletes arrived in Halifax on Saturday as the exodus of athletes from the first week make room for the second wave, which will compete this week.
Among the Team B.C. members are Ella Matteucci, who will captain Team B.C.’s female hockey team, Tommy Pitman, who will compete in snowboarder cross and Rebecca Reid and Geoffrey Richards, who will take part in the cross country skiing events.