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The Kelowna Kodiaks captured the Silver Medal in the Bantam C Lacrosse Championship in Burnaby on Sunday, July 29th 2012. Throughout their Provincial run, the team played with heart, dedication and sportsmanship.

Formed at the end of June, the 14 player roster led by Captain Mathew Alcorn, Assistant Captains, Tanner Gale and Lucas de Vries, the Kodiaks won two of the three round robin games and won their cross over game to earn a berth in the finals. A 6 – 1 round robin win over Burnaby Lakers launched the Kodiaks on their winning ways in the Provincial Tournament, followed by defeating Langley Thunder 8 – 0, going into a tough game against the Campbell River Ravens, taking a loss of 7 – 5 which placed the Kodiaks in second position in their pool. The Kodiaks then faced the Cranbrook Outlaws, who they defeated 11 – 8. This sent the Kodiaks to once more face the Campbell River Ravens, this time for the Gold medal in the Championship game at Bill Copeland Arena. The Kodiaks came out strong with a two goal lead over the Campbell River. Campbell River closed the gap during the game, with both teams drawing even at 5 in the third period. With 05:30 minutes left in the third period, the Kodiaks’ starting goalie, Hunter McSeveney went down while stopping a shot from Campbell River. The game was stopped while alternate goalie, Joshua DuBrett took to the net for the Kodiaks. Campbell River scored the winning goal in the final few minutes, to steal the Gold.

The Kelowna Kodiaks Bantam C Team was under the lead of Head Coach Randy Gale accompanied by bench staff, Darin de Vries, Rod Torres and Team Manager Susan Gale. Kelowna Minor Lacrosse congratulates the Bantam C team on their terrific accomplishment.

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After only a couple of practices together the PeeWee Provincial B squad (Rep team) had their first game as a team against Merritt which the Kodiaks dropped 9 to 2. The PeeWee Kodiaks then went down to both the Peewee ‘B’ Wayne Goss and Wayne Patrick tournaments which they placed second in both, showing considerable heart and grit! They started to believe in themselves; this brought the team to the TOMBLC Provincial playoffs against Merritt, where our Kodiaks prevailed in a thrilling best of 3 series! In the third game of the series, the Kodiaks were down 2 going into the third period and dug deep to win by 1 in the end. This was hugely thrilling for the players, their coaches and the parents.

At PeeWee B Provincials – the team found themselves in a tough pool with three of the teams finishing 1 and 2 in the end. The Kodiaks lost out by goals for and against by 2 to continue on the semi’s. The Kodiaks beat Port Coquitlam, and had losses to Peninsula and New West.

The players can hold their heads high on what took place this season. All were adapting to the return to the house/rep model, one that dramatically increased the ‘intensity’ of lacrosse for rep players. Lower mainland teams, who are able to tier their teams AND play in properly tiered leagues (because they have sufficient registrations) are able to play together all year, which is a considerable advantage. One thing was proven, the Kelowna Kodiaks PeeWee players belonged with these teams!

Head Coach Rod Charlton was rightly proud: “I can’t say enough on how these bunch of lacrosse players continued to raise our expectations – a real nice surprise!”

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Originally a 25-player roster at the start of the season, 14 committed Kelowna Midget players stood strongly behind their teammates and the Kelowna Kodiaks club to prevail as Midget C Champions in Port Coquitlam on July 15 2012. The original 22 player roster submitted during Provincial declarations in early June 2012 consisted of 12 players with fewer than five years of prior box lacrosse experience, and 8 players with more than five years experience. The team saw a combination of late season injuries and other priorities taking precedence in the lives of some players leading to the surprisingly shortened but incredibly effective roster that played July 13th through 15th at the Provincial Competition in Port Coquitlam.

Every runner on the Championship roster scored or assisted in the Provincials. And there were a lot of assists and goals to go around! The remaining hungry, dedicated, resilient Kodiaks roster that suited up for Provincials outscored their opposition a whopping 59 goals to 16 over five games.

Despite adversity, the final 14 players and their coaches ended the season on a high, Championship note. Congratulations to the players and coaches for their dedication and ability to overcome adversity. To our graduating midgets, all the very best in your lacrosse futures.

Final results and standings here.

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Congratulations to the Kelowna Bantam Kodiak Representative team for their dominant performance in Edmonton, including an incredible team performance in the Championship game played at Rexall Place.

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They say that to be a great comeback, two criteria must be fulfilled. First, the deficit overcome has to be sizeable. Second, the comeback had to take place in a series or game of serious import. On June 23rd and 24th 2012, both of these criteria were met in spades by the underdog Kelowna Kodiaks Bantam team, who for the first time in over seven years brought home the Zone Championship title in their division with a come from behind win over Kamloops at the McArthur Island Sports Centre.

Having defeated the number one Kamloops seed the previous day 8-7 via a dramatic sudden death victory goal by Kodiak Caden Delaurier, Kelowna found themselves quickly down 0-2 in the first period. Captain James Alexander, who averaged 5.6 ppg during three Championship games, opened the scoring for Kelowna with only 20 seconds remaining in the first period. Kamloops continued to execute their fast break and pick and roll to build a 5-2 lead with 8 minutes remaining in the second period. A goal from Kelowna’s Kristian Beech at the 2:38 mark of the second period saw the Kodiaks down 3-5 at the second intermission. Kamloops came out ready to close out the game again scoring early to go up 6-3. This would be the last time Kamloops found mesh.

Persevering on a message of relentless defense emphasizing shadow match-ups against Kamloops three top scorers, Kelowna battled back dramatic goal by dramatic goal. Hot sniper James Alexander scored two quick goals in under a minute to bring the game to 5-6. Kodiaks veteran Joshua Dubrett then stunned Kamloops by leveling the game at 6 only a minute later. In what would be the game winner, Assistant Captain Carson Mintram notched his fourth goal of the Championship tournament to give the Kodiaks their first lead of the game, 7-6. With just under four minutes remaining in the game, goalie out, extra attacker on the floor, Kamloops was unable to beat the Kelowna defense or Kelowna goal-tender Kieran MacKay, who allowed only one Kamloops goal in the third period. Equally notable, despite the intensity and hard checking brought by Kamloops, Kelowna maintained their composure and played 60 minutes penalty free. A jubilant Kelowna team streamed onto the floor and accepted the well earned Championship banner, a moment few players, parents or coaches will soon forget.

In what was a character building season and superlative Championship weekend, Kelowna Minor Lacrosse congratulates the Kelowna Bantam 2 Kodiaks for their dedication, perseverance, teamwork and accomplishment.

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