The Juan de Fuca minor lacrosse association can feel mighty proud this week, after two of their bantam teams medalled at the provincial championships in Vancouver.
The A1 Whalers avenged an earlier 8-4 loss to Coquitlam by shutting down the mainlanders in a 6-1 win in the championship game on Tuesday afternoon.
Juan de Fuca went 5-1 overall in the tournament and warmed up for the gold medal game by hammering Kamloops 7-1 that morning. Further details of the A team’s tournament will follow.
Meanwhile, a dream season for the Juan de Fuca bantam B Whalers ended with a lacrosse battle against their arch-rivals on Monday at the B.C. Championships in Vancouver.
The Whalers, who roared through the 2016 season, capturing the league and Island championship titles, came oh so close to sending the gold medal game against Comox Valley into overtime.
Juan de Fuca rebounded from a 6-2 deficit midway through the third period to tie it at 6-6, only to see their opponents convert a turnover in the final 90 seconds into the eventual winning goal in a 7-6 game.
Juan de Fuca went 2-1 in round robin, beating Langley 8-5 and Vancouver 9-1, while suffering their first loss of the season, 5-3 to Mission. Placing second in their pool after a three-way tiebreaker, the Whalers knocked off Delta 6-4 in Sunday’s semifinal.
That set up the gold medal game, a rematch of the Island final in which Juan de Fuca came from behind to win.
Comox Valley, who finished second in the opposite pool at provincials, had erased a 5-1 deficit in their semifinal against Mission to win 8-5. They continued that momentum and opened up a lead against the Whalers, but saw the determined boys in green reel off four straight goals, much to the delight of the crowd assembled at the Killarney Arena.
With the game looking like it was headed to extra time, a Comox Valley player scooped up a loose ball and raced down floor to score what proved to be the championship-clinching goal.
The day before the final, Juan de Fuca goalie Caleb Riach was named the team’s Warriors Fair Play award winner, while teammate Cole Mahovlich was named to the provincial all-star team, voted on by opposing coaches.
Along the way this season, the Eric Brown-coached Whalers went 15-0-1 in Island play, and captured champions’ trophies at the Hyack and Kamloops tournaments.
Other team members are Ryan Baird, Alex Klassen, Jack McNabb, Matteo Sotelo, Hayden Cardinal, Jacob Sylvestre, Jacob Wilkinson, Justin Parker, Cam York, Lucas Quayle, Brennen Schoenau, Jett Stillings, Trey Anderson and Jacob Campbell.