The Lakers C1 pee wee hockey team celebrates their gold medal victory at Cowichan Lakes Sports Arena on Dec. 11.

Lakers celebrate gold and silver

The C1 and C2 pee wee Lakers’ hockey teams had remarkable weekends, hosting separate home tournaments at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena

The C1 and C2 pee wee Lakers’ hockey teams had remarkable weekends, hosting separate home tournaments at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena. The C1 and C2 units emerged with gold and silver medals, respectively.

The C1 Lakers emerged with the golden token after besting the Saanich Braves. The C1 squad was neck-and-neck with the Braves all tournament, narrowly trumping the Saanich 7-6 in round robin play.

The C1 crew went 3-0 in the round robin, also claiming victories over the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies and South Delta by scores of 11-4 and 5-0.

Greg Clayton was pleased with his team’s performance on the weekend. He thought the Braves gave the Lakers a run for their money.

“The Saanich Braves played a tough technical game but Lakers like Luke Wiersma kept the score in the favor of the Lakers. Luke recieved the game digger award for his goal and many game saving plays,” said Clayton.

He commended a handful of his players for going above and beyond. And rightfully so — each player contributed for at least one point throughout tournament play.

“The Laker girl’s line of Katie Ferguson, Amber Clayton, and Shaylyn Jones kept the momentum going by forcing the braves to keep there heads up. Many times the girls would charge into a puck battle on the boards and come out heads up and putting the puck in front of the Braves net. Evan Rowbottom and defence partner Nolan Fathergil held the blue line and only gave the Braves long shots on the Lakers net,” he added.

With well over a dozen teams in attendance of the home tournament, Clayton said he was receiving positive feedback from teams across Vancouver Island and the province.

“They all love our beautiful arena, our many great restaurants, shopping and accommodating community. They all want to come back again, and I think it was very prosperous for our community bringing 500 people into our town for the weekend,” Clayton explained.

President of Lake Cowichan Minor Hockey, Jackie Cummings was pleased with the C1 team’s gold medal but was not overly impressed with the Saanich Braves’ coach’s behavior in the gold medal match. Unhappy with the referee’s decisions, the Saanich coach resorted to writing offensive sayings on his game board and displaying it for the whole arena to see. Cummings was forced to confiscate the display board.

Other than this unfortunate incident which luckily did not overshadow the C1 team’s gold medal win, Cummings was incredibly content with how the tournament unfolded.

“It was awesome! There’s so much work. All our volunteers, everybody who stepped forward to help host the tournament this year. It was fantastic! We had so many compliments about our players and the sportsmanship that they displayed on both sides,” she added.

The C2 Lakers were almost gold medal victors in there tournament as well, if it was not for Surrey’s hockey team, who toppled the Lakers 4-3 in an electric overtime affair.

The overtime featured four-on-four hockey with a bizarre twist: no goaltenders. Players had to shoot the puck from inside the blueline to attain a goal. Unfortunately it was Surrey who beat the C2 unit to the punch.

C2 Lakers bench boss, Mark Martin was upset his team fell in the way they did but commended his squad for a solid weekend of hockey.

“They played awesome throughout the whole weekend. They all played hard and gave it a good effort every game,” said Martin.

Martin thought the overtime format allowed for a bit of a toss up situation.

“It went back and forth a couple times and they took a shot from just inside the blue line and scored on the empty net,” he added.

Martin highlighted that Surrey put up a strong fight in their own zone.

“The other team was really strong defensively. We scored a couple goes but they came back and scored a couple goals in the third period to tie it up and then we went into the wild overtime.”

He agreed the tournament was coordinated effectively.

“It was organized well and it went smoothly,” he said.

Both the C1 and C2 pee wee Lakers teams will resume Mid-Island Hockey League Action this upcoming weekend.


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