Bantam boxla tournament takes extra miles

Organizers had to scramble to ensure the Bantam A2/B Rock The House Lacrosse Tournament went ahead

A washed out Trans Canada Highways forced Calgary teams to take the long way and Vernon Bantam A2/B Rock The House Lacrosse Tournament organizers to scramble and seriously tweak the schedule.

The 12-team North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association (NOMLA) tournament went ahead after some major schedule revision and calls to the B.C. Lacrosse Association (BCLA).

Tourney organizer Aly Pain, who received a phone call early Friday morning from one of the four stranded-in-Golden Calgary teams, said several parties went the extra mile to ensure the event was successful.

“Without the quick action, support and willingness to adapt from BCLA, NOMLA, president Kari Gares and tournament co-ordinator Nikki Scabar, the referees, coaches, players and all our parent volunteers, this tournament would have looked much differently.” said Pain. “Everyone came together to pull off something I’ve never experienced before in five years of lacrosse.”

Pain said there was no way the Alberta teams could make their 2 p.m. games Friday.

“We all had to scramble to contact the other teams (local and Coastal) and see who could play one or two games Friday night, so we could put the Alberta teams into Saturday. Quick responses from BCLA, allowing us to run shortened periods (15 minutes each rather than 20), and have teams play three games in one day was the start we needed to completely rework the schedule. The Alberta teams had already decided to leave Golden and take the only route open which was south through Castlegar and West along the border adding 10 hours of driving time.”

Ther was a big upset in the A2 semifinal Sunday with the fourth-place Peninsula Warriors stopping the No. 1 seed Rockyview Strathmore Predators 6-4.

The Calgary Axemen iced the Warriors 11-6 in the A2 gold-medal game at Kal Tire Place.

Ethan Harshenin supplied four goals, while Jacob Fox and Thomas Pain each pocketed a pair as North Okanagan Legends shelled the Chilliwack Mustangs 12-1 for fifth place. Singles came from Carson Irmen, Malcom Danford, Andrew Brown and Jacob Aeichele.

North OK tied the Cowichan Valley Thunder 5-5 in Friday play, goals coming from Jacob Defeo, Brown, Damian Glover, Pain and Kohl Killingbeck.

The Legends lost 9-3 to Rockyview Strathmore Saturday with Irmen (2) and Killingbeck handling the offence.

North OK then bowed 7-2 to the Axemen with Glover getting both goals.

The Rockyview Rage erased a 5-0 deficit and held off the Calgary Axemen 9-8 in a thrilling B side final Sunday at Priest Valley Arena.

Calgary levelled the score 8-8 with 1:56 left but the Rage netted the winner 30 seconds later.

North OK bowed 4-3 to the West Kootenay Wolpack in the five-six consolation game.

Game MVP Tayber McLean, with a deuce, and Kole Watson scored for the Legends.

North OK opened with an 8-0 loss to the Shuswap Outlaws with Zachary Young taking MVP.

The Legends then lost 4-3 to West Kootenay with Joey Mazzei, Watson and McLean converting before the Wolfpack scored a late winner.

The Rage grounded the Legends 10-2 Saturday with McLean connecting twice and Nate Benn taking MVP.

Meanwhile, the Storage For Life Novice #2 Legends ran to a 7-7 tie with Kelowna #1 Tuesday night at Kal Tire Place and grounded North Okanagan Novice #1 12-2 Wednesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Waylen Stowards scored five times and Kohen Pounder counted three in the win. Teigan Kelley added a pair, while Alex Hart and Kian Yargeau supplied singles. Hart and Oliver Maleska each collected two helpers in front of Brayden Rypkema.

Yargeau and Stowards each rolled deuces against Kelowna with singles going to Kelley, Hart and Kohl Hendrickson.

Vernon Morning Star