Calgary is definitely a long way to travel to win a bronze medal.
However, for members of the West Kootenay Wolfpack Peewee Lacrosse team, while the annual Calgary Canada Day tournament signals the end of the season, there's plenty of optimism of a bright future for the spring time sport.
The bronze medal was the second of the year for the Wolfpack and finished off what was a truly amazing season with a 7-5 victory over a very skilled Hornets team.
"The kids worked incredibly hard and achieved great results for all the hard work. Way to go Wolfpack," said a member of the coaching staff.
The first game of the tournament would be against the same Hornets team. Great goaltending from Thomas Steenhoff and tenacious team defence by players such as River Ireland and Ryze Jacks kept the score at 3-3 after two periods. A late goal by the Hornets sealed the 4-3 win and leaving the Wolfpack with 0-1 record.
Game two saw the peewees playing the Calgary Sabrecats. Another great start with goals by Dakoda Fizzard and Myles Cousins had the teams tied after first period. However, five unanswered goals in the second period paved the way to a Sabrecats 9-4 victory.
Hailee Popoff and Brody Wanstall had a very good game and the Wolfpack fought hard but were down 0-2 in the tournament.
Now down 0-2 and sitting in 5th place the Wolfpack desperately needed a win to have a chance at the medal round. The team was fired up and exploded out of the gate to an early lead. Led by his first ever hat tricks from Brendan Beetlestone, Myles Cousins and Noah Elliot-Adams, the Wolfpack rolled to victory. Excellent two way play by Leif Poole and Colton Zemp was instrumental in the win.
Locked in fourth place in the medal round the Wolfpack needed a good game against the Axemen to keep that position. The game was back and forth through the first two periods with the Wolfpack pushing the pace and controlling the game but not building on the lead they had. Some of the smaller players stepped up and played with incredible heart. Noah Thirsk and Kurtis Steenhoff (two novice players called up for the tournament) gave and received big hits all weekend, always with a smile on their faces. In the third period the pace slowed and the Wolfpack controlled the play not giving up many chances and enjoying the victory to move into third place.
The bronze medal game brought an opportunity for redemption against the Hornets. In a very physical game the Wolfpack clearly had the advantage, forcing the Hornets back into their own end on several occasions. After one period the score was tied but only three minutes into the second period the Hornets had scored two goals and were pressing for more. A big interception by Captain Dakoda Fizzard lead to a breakaway goal and turned the momentum.
The Wolfpack held a 4-3 lead after two periods. In the third period the teams traded goals eventually ending up tied at 5. A huge blocked shot by Brynn Strelaeff helped keep the scored tied and excellent fore checking by Molly Taylor kept the Hornets on the defensive and limited the scoring chances. Goals from Noah Elliot-Adams and Myles Cousins put the Wolfpack up 7-5 to win the Bronze Medal.
For anyone interested in Lacrosse there will be a free try-it camp on Aug 23rd in Trail from 2:30 – 7:00 at the fieldhouse. Sticks, gloves and all required gear will be onsite to be used. Come out and try the fastest sport on two legs. Contact Devon Reid- WKMLA@hotmail.com for further details.