The Cowichan Valley Thunder used the peewee A2 lacrosse Island championship game to send a message.
With a 9-3 win over the Saanich Tigers at the Island Savings Centre on Saturday, the Thunder showed not only that they are just coming into their own, but also that they are contenders for the provincial title as well.
“After getting beat by them all year, it was good to give them a thumping before provincials,” head coach Gord Macdonald said.
Both teams had already booked their tickets for the provincial championships, but they still had something to prove in the Island final.
“We knew they were going to provincials, and we’ll probably see them again there if we want to go to the gold-medal game,” Macdonald said. “All the guys worked as hard as they could, and good things happened. Guys who don’t score many goals were scoring, and guys who don’t get the ball much were getting shots. All the kids stepped up. It was a team effort.”
Cowichan goalie Clayton Rankin allowed two goals in the first period and just one in the second before shutting the door completely in the third, while his teammates scored three times in each period.
The Thunder got three goals and an assist from Walker Smith, two goals and three helpers from Josh Macdonald, and another two markers from Luciano Michieli. Logan Olson had a goal and one assist, Dominic Adelborg scored once, and Seth Plater and Keegan Martin had one assist apiece.
The provincial championships begin this Wednesday in Richmond, and Macdonald is eager to see what his surging team can do there.
“The guys are just beating everyone lately, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “There will be some good teams there, but we should be one of the favourites. After beating Saanich like that and beating Nanaimo’s A1 team, we should be at the top of the pack.”
The Thunder’s work ethic remains the team’s strongest asset.
“The guys work really, really hard,” Macdonald said. “If they keep working as hard as they have, we should be able to make a good run at it. We’ve got a good goalie and guys who score goals, and the guys who don’t score goals are scooping up loose balls and not losing any checks. We should have a good chance.
“It’s up to them to win it or lose it now with their hustle and effort.”