The U13 Tyees hockey team players can hold their tired heads up high after an impressive showing at the Tier II provincial championships in Salmon Arm.
While a 6-2 loss in the final game versus a Vancouver team was a heart breaker for them, team manager, Stacey Rosse said time is helping the wounds heal.
“The kids are a little bit disappointed, as they wanted to bring home the banner, but second in the province is pretty amazing,” she said.
“They took the loss pretty hard, but by the next day they were doing okay.”
Before the defeat the squad was unbeaten, besting the team they lost to in the finals 6-3 on day one (March 20), crushing the home team from Salmon Arm 11-2 on day two (March 21), and having another impressive performance (9-3) versus a Williams Lake team on day three (March 22).
On the final day the Tyees needed overtime to beat a Cranbrooke team 7-6.
“It was super exciting,” Rosse said. “Our captain (Kane Nicholas) scored the winner there, which was great.”
The emotional high came back to haunt them though, as the final wasn’t until 8 p.m. at night.
“It didn’t finish until 10 p.m.,” Rosse noted, “And our kids are usually in bed by then.”
She made sure to give their opponents their due though.
Aafter we played them (in the first round) we knew there was a good chance we would be meeting them in the final,” Rosse said. “They’re a strong team. so we kind of figured that’s the way it would go.
“They’ve got some super fast skaters.”
In addition to the silver medals, there were plenty of bright spots to remember from the tourney.
The Tyees has three scorers in the top 10. Grady Veary racked up 19 points in five games to sit atop the list, Kane Nicholas was third with 14, and Linden Kennedy was eighth with 10 points.
Filling up the stat sheet is one thing, but Rosse added opposing squads also commended the team on its sportsmanship, which she said was nice to hear.
The success was aided in no small part by the travelling supporters.
“We had such a big group come to Salmon Arm,” Rosse pointed out. “There was over 70 of us.
“We had grand parents and siblings, and family friends. We definitely had the best cheering section at the tournament.
“All the parents were wearing jerseys. The siblings made signs. we had pom-poms and cow bells.
“I think it helped the kids, and I think they liked seeing that when they looked up into the crowd.”