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Gritty Intermediate B Thunder finds a way
With everyone there, the Cowichan Valley Intermediate B Thunder lacrosse team displayed complete superiority over Saanich.
It was a bit of a different story with several regulars not available, but Cowichan still got the job done for a two-game sweep in the best-of-three Island final playoff series.
Cowichan wiped out Saanich 23-4 in the opener last Tuesday at the Island Savings Centre, with a high-powered offense and an airtight defence backed by goalkeeper Dallas McLaughlin. "He played real solid,'' said Thunder coach Lorne Winship.
The scoring came in waves, led by the double digit effort of Colin Winship with four goals and seven assists for 11 points while Tyson Black racked up nine points on three goals and six assists and Adam Golia chalked up three goals and five assists.
Midget call-up Mathieu Jung made a huge impression with eight points on two goals and six assists and Brandon Corby had the scoring touch with five goals and one assist. James Taylor, another call-up, collected three goals and two assists.
Jimmy Johnnie, Mitch Page and Corwin Trent tallied single goals and Thomas Charlie contributed an assist.
Cowichan led 9-3 after the first period and 16-4 after two.
The Thunder was left with only 13 runners for the rematch Friday at Panorama due to holidays, an injury, two players at the North American Indigenous Games and two at the B.C. Summer Games.
Against all odds, Cowichan somehow prevailed 13-12 for the championship against a strong Saanich lineup, bolstered by the return of its No. 1 goaltender.
The Thunder trailed 12-8 with seven minutes left, but came back with five unanswered goals.
"This core of these players that I've been fortunate enough to coach have done this type of thing for as long as I can remember,'' noted coach Winship.
"They have an uncanny way of finding ways to win. They are more than the sum of their parts.''
It was mainly the Black-Golia-Colin Winship show in the dying minutes. The game-winner came from Winship with 2:52 left.
Black had seven goals and one assist, Golia two goals and five assists and Winship a goal and five assists. Corby chipped in with two goals and two assists, with a goal and an assist coming from Page.
The Island champs head to the provincials in Richmond Aug. 1 to 4 against two teams from the Lower Mainland and one from the Interior.