Victoria-Esquimalt Eagles goalie Ty Reeve tries to snare a loose ball

Turnaround comes at right time for lacrosse Whalers

Captain Cook tournament sees Juan de Fuca teams capture two gold, two bronze

Juan de Fuca’s pee wee ‘A’ Whalers kicked their game into high gear at the right time Sunday at the Captain Cook lacrosse tournament in Colwood.

Coming off a gold medal win at a Kamloops tournament two weekends previous, the Whalers had a slow start at home, going 1-2 in round robin play and squeaking into medal contention.

But the Whalers rebounded to beat arch-rival Ridge Meadows 4-3 in the semifinal Saturday then hammered Coquitlam 10-4 in the gold medal game Sunday at Juan de Fuca Arena.

“We had a big talk and the kids pulled their socks up. We just worked hard and really got ’er done,” said Whalers’ coach Jim McNeill. “We weren’t really playing as a team the first three games; it was a bit of a rough start.”

Juan de Fuca handed Ridge Meadows its first loss of the season, a benchmark in the leadup to provincials, to be hosted by that team in July.

The final saw the Whalers jump out to 4-0 lead after the first period and never look back. They added a couple more goals in the middle frame and didn’t give the mainland squad many openings.

The Whalers lost 5-4 to Nanaimo, beat Kamloops 2-1 in a rare goaltenders’ duel, and lost 5-2 to Ridge Meadows in round robin play. The host team tied Kamloops for fourth spot but made the semifinal based on the head-to-head win.

Whalers capture ‘B’ gold over Vic-Esquimalt

Two late goals gave the Juan de Fuca B2 pee wees a 6-4 victory over the Victoria-Esquimalt Eagles in the Cook tournament’s B final Sunday at Juan de Fuca Arena.

Reid Fryer notched the eventual winner with five minutes left, breaking a 4-4 tie after the Eagles erased a 4-2 deficit in the second period. With the Whalers down a man and the Eagles pressing for the equalizer, Juan de Fuca’s Luc Gagnon was sprung loose and raced in alone to beat Eagles goalie Ty Reeve for the 6-4 goal.

“We’ve had some really close games with them this season. That was just guttin’ it out at the end of the tournament,” said Whalers coach Paul Richards, whose team lost 5-4 to the Eagles in the tourney opener Friday. “That was like our 11th game in eight days. It’s a lot of lacrosse and it’s just leaving it out on the floor.”

Whalers B2 played JdF B1 for gold the previous weekend in Delta, but lost 5-4.

The B1 Whalers, who finished second in their round robin pool  – as did the B2 Whalers – dropped a 7-2 semifinal decision to Vic-Esquimalt, but came back to beat Oceanside 5-4 for bronze on Sunday.

In the C division, Juan de Fuca defeated Vic-Esquimalt 4-1 for bronze at The Q Centre. JdF lost three close round robin games and then the semifinal 3-1 to Campbell River, which beat Cowichan 5-2 for gold.

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