Rarely does a year go by without a provincial championship for the Saanich Tigers minor lacrosse association and this year it’s the midget B Tigers (15-16 years old) who took gold at the box lacrosse provincials in Langley over the weekend.
(The Saanich Tigers midget A1 team took bronze).
The midget B Tigers went undefeated in the round robin at 3-0, defeating Abbotsford 4-1, Coquitlam 6-2 and the West Kootenays 14-1. Next was the semifinal crossover, an 8-5 win over Vancouver.
In the final the Tigers overcame an early 3-0 deficit to take down Prince George 7-5.
“The team played as a real strong unit that last game, there wasn’t much individualism, they kept working together after they started down 3-0 after the first,” said head coach Adam Gow. “They very disciplined, just two penalties in the game, and even then the short man game was great. In the last period they took the lead and kept pushing.”
As a ‘non-parent coach,’ Gow is a Saanich Tiger alum who grew up playing in the organization and has now returned to the organziation to pay it back. A good chunk of the players on his team have been together for many years, making the reward that much sweeter, he said.
The provincials were hosted at the Langley Event Centre on the Vancouver Stealth’s National Lacrosse League surface, which features another Tigers alumnus and Victoria Shamrocks great, Rhys Duch.
“To be on that [NLL] turf was a pretty cool experince for the kids,” said Gow.
At the forefront for Saanich at the provincials were Riley Mace, Rhys Trépanier-Dawson and Mike Johansen, who were a “force on both ends of the floor,” Gow said.
Each was named the MVP of a game in the provincials including Trépanier-Dawson in the final.
Johansen scored the seventh goal to clinch the game and goaltender Ewan Behro, who could’ve been named MVP many times in the tournament, shut the door for Saanich.
Behro actually earned an extra win playing Game 3 of the midget A1 Tigers’ provincial run.
“Behro played fantastic, he made clutch saves and had a great tournament for us,” Gow said.
The midget B Tigers finished the season on a 10-game win streak as they took down Comox, Campbell River and then Cowichan to win the Island championships and qualify for provincials.
The majority of the team are first year players and will be back next year.