Terrace’s midget B Rep team didn’t know what to expect heading into the Omenica League tournament in Burns Lake over the Nov. 3 weekend, but coaches say they were pleasantly surprised with the team’s performance.
The team ended up placing 4th out of six teams, but had a couple of close games and two wins, including one blow out win against the host team of Burns Lake.
This midget team is part of the B program and it’s a little different than typical rep teams as the tournaments are usually non-contact and a mix of boys and girls, explained coach Shayne Braid.
“The Burns Lake tourney, or any Omenica game can be very competitive,” said Braid. “They usually have very big teams and are always very physical.”
The Omenica League consists of Burns Lake, Fraser Lake, Houston, Fort St. John and depending on the year, Terrace and Smithers.
Terrace faced off in its first match against Smithers, falling 4-2. Not only was it the first match of the tournament, but it was the team’s first game of the season.
Terrace out-shot Smithers 40-28, but was up against a solid goaltender But the team figured the goalie out in the third and managed to score two goals late in the game.
Terrace goalie Foster Johnson was picked as MVP by Smithers at the end of the game.
The second match was a squeaker against Houston, a team Terrace has a good friendly rivalry with, that Houston took 4-3. An uncounted goal by Ryan Kawinsky with 30 seconds left would’ve taken the game into OT, but the ref stopped the play.
“The highlight of this game was when Shaydon LeBlond made an end to end rush, scoring top shelf and freezing the goalie with her blinding skating,” said Baird. “Even better was watching her teammates mob her at centre ice like she just won the game. We didn’t get the win but it sure felt like it.”
Next up was Fraser Lake, a well-coached team with only enough players for two shifts. But their 10 players are well-disciplined and work hard, said Braid, and Fraser Lake had Terrace shut out 2-0 going into the third.
But Braid’s fellow coach, Don LeBlond, gave his version of the ‘miracle speech’ in the dressing room between periods, and the kids came out fired up, scoring six unanswered goals throughout the period, including a top shelf beauty by rookie Mitch Stella, to win it 6-2.
Then Terrace took on Burns Lake, trouncing them 9-1, but Braid says “the score doesn’t dictate the home team’s talent here,” noting they were suffering from a couple severe, season-ending injuries to key players.
Top line in this game was Kevin Desousa, Ryan Kawinsky, and Kyle Lindstrom, said Braid, with Desousa, whose nickname is “Elvis”, being picked for game MVP.
The team capped off the tournament with an exhausting 4-2 loss to Fort St. James in the roughest game of the tournament. Funny, said Braid, considering Terrace and Fort St. John were the smallest teams in the tournament.