The North Island Rage U16 field lacrosse team captures gold.

Rage make team history

The North Island Rage field lacrosse team will go down in the history books

The North Island Rage U16 field lacrosse team, sponsored by Saratoga Ventures, attended the provincial championships in Burnaby and despite playing in a strong pool, made team history.

Vancouver was the Rage’s first opponent and the North Island team was up 7-4 at the half before the Rage found themselves getting into penalty trouble and Vancouver got back to within one goal.

The Rage turned it on at the end and won the game 13-11 with goals by Alec Molander (4), Graham Evans (2), Tanner Jones (2), Garrett (2), Bailey Robinson (2), and Jory Clermont (1). Jones was named MVP for the game.

North Island then faced Mission in a night game and were down 2-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Lucas Marriot Spencer had a strong game at middie and goals by Jones, Molander (2) and Evans got the boys to within one at the half. Sam Kussauer scored one in the third and the quarter ended 8-5 Mission.

In a very dramatic fourth quarter with stick checks, penalties and disallowed goals, the team took a 9-7 loss, despite Burchill’s heroics in net. Molander earned MVP honors.

With a 1-1 record, the Rage had to try to beat the Adanacs by as many goals as possible to ensure a berth in the cross-over game. Not wanting to leave their fate to chance, the Rage won 14-2 with goals. Brady Garrett received the MVP and Sam Kussauer was awarded the Warrior Fair Play award for the season.

Nanaimo had a 3-0 record from the A pool and the Rage found themselves facing their arch rivals for the opportunity to play for the gold medal.

In a see-saw battle, Nanaimo was up 3-2 at the end of the first quarter, with goals by Evans and Griffin Whyley, then North Island was up 5-4 at the half with goals by Sam Kussauer, Molander and Vigneron. The boys increased their lead to 8-6 by the third quarter (Molander, Evans and Smith) and were leading 10-6 partway through the fourth quarter (Molander – 2).

The team seemed tentative in their attempts to run the clock down and Nanaimo stormed back with three goals. The team managed to hold them off and secure a 10-9 win and a trip to the gold medal game. Nathan Hoff was given a well-deserved MVP.

The Rage was happy to get another crack at Mission in the finals.

As the team did in the Island championships, they rose to the challenge to a man and Mission was never in the game.

The Rage had control early and Marriot Spencer assisted Jones on the first goal of the game. Burchill had his strongest game of the season and made two spectacular saves in the first quarter.

Whyley and Robinson added goals in the second quarter and Alex Kussauer’s radar was up as he picked off four passes in the game. Evans added two and Molander popped one in coming from behind the net to win the game 6-2. Jones was named MVP of the game. Coaches Whyley and Robinson were full of praise for a flawless game with no mental lapses. The team would like to thank their sponsor, coaches, managers, Donna Uzzell and Amber Robinson, and the North Island Field Lacrosse Association for all the support throughout the season. NIFLA has existed since 2004 and this is the first provincial gold the organization has won.