Quesnel sent a couple of minor lacrosse teams and a couple of Tyke players up to Fort St. John on May 27-28, and they all played well, according to reports from coaches.
Head coach Paulo Da Silveira says his Novice team played “amazingly well” as they came home with a one-win, one-loss record.
Their first game was against the Fort St. John Grizzlies, and the Quesnel Wildfire jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period before the host squad came back with one of its own.
The Grizzlies closed the gap to 3-2 at 17:17 of the second stanza, but the Wildfire responded with a pair to up the lead to 5-2 halfway through the period.
Fort St. John got another marker at 9:56 of the second to narrow the gap to 5-3.
Quesnel came back with two more goals to skate off for the second intermission with a 7-3 lead.
The Wildfire popped its eighth and final goal four minutes in the third, and Fort St. John came back with three unanswered goals to make the score respectable.
Austin Turner led the offence for Quesnel with a hat trick.
Liam Delaney notched a pair of goals, with Devin Daoust and Oliver Da Silveira adding singles.
Coach Da Silveira was pleased about his team getting its second win of the season.
“They were executing their offence and defence, getting the passing, setting up the plays and getting the goals.
“It was really good to see them putting it all together. It’s going to happen when you practice.”
Unfortunately, Da Silveira says they one had one full practice since their last tournament in Williams Lake
“So, that’s why I was really impressed with the way they pulled together for the Fort St. John game.
“Fort St. John has a pretty good team, but we were out-running them and our goalie Sam Jensen played really well. We were bringing our defence together; it was pretty amazing actually.”
Noting he only has five or six players who have been playing for the last two year, the coach says it’s hard to mix the experience players with all of the new kids to get them up to speed.
The coach says O. Da Silveira, Landen Aaslie and Francois Buys played really good defensively.
“Offensively, Turner puts in quite a few goals, while Delaney and Nathan Pressey also play well offensively.
“Most of they kids have been with me for a while. Landen and Francois are first year, but they got up to speed fairly quickly.”
The second game was very rough and it wasn’t something his players were used to dealing with, Da Silveira says.
He notes the team is coached by a former professional lacrosse player and they are playing a higher calibre of the lacrosse.
They’re basically playing Vancouver-style, full-contact lacrosse, he says, adding we don’t play that in northern British Columbia.
“My guys weren’t used to it and they’re not trained that way, so we just took it as a practice. We did the best we could out there and tried not to get hurt.
“We had four or five kids who went off hurt! A few of them stayed off and sat on the bench. Others went with their parents to the dressing room and got completely changed.
“I had to stop the game and call the refs over and tell them we don’t play that style of lacrosse. We play place-and-push where you place the stick on the player and then you push.
“There’s no full-blown cross-checking to the head … yeah, it was pretty scary.”
The next games for the Novice team are in Prince George on June 18 against Prince George 3 and Williams Lake.
The finals will be in Williams Lake on June 24-25.
Only a few Tyke players made the trip to the Fort St. John, but came with family and not as a team.
However, they put all of the Tykes on two teams and the youngsters had some fun games.
The Quesnel Bantam team came away with two victories.
They knocked off Williams Lake 5-2 in the first game, and Fort St. John Bantams fell 3-2 to the Quesnel Wildfire.
Coach Scott Daoust wasn’t able to travel with the team due to work commitments, so Crossfire head coach Albert Cooper took over the reins for the weekend.
Daoust says getting two wins is “pretty darn good for us.”
“We have a lot of first-year players out there and, initially, it took a few games to learn the game. They’ve managed to come together extremely well.”
Some of his players came back from Fort St. John and told him the highlights of the weekend were how well the girls played.
Peewee-aged player Brooklyn Karey popped in a goal, he says, adding everyone is happy about that.
“Haley Lattman provided the other highlights by having two of the biggest hits of the weekend against a couple of the Williams Lake boys.
“The local players say it was quite entertaining to watch her take out the biggest player on the Williams Lake team and leave him lying on the floor.
Apparently, he was coming down the court and looked at her and probably thought, ‘oh, it’s a girl and I’ll just dance around her’.
“He tried to move around her and [Haley] caught with a clean hit in the right front and knocked him down.”
Coach Daoust says they are really proud of the team, especially the leadership by some of the returning players.
“Our captain [Christian Daoust] and alternate caption [Keegan Loomis] have provided the leadership that has really sparked the team.”
The Bantams will be in Prince George on June 17 for games against Prince George team 2 and team 3.