Cowichan Thunder teams lacrosse teams came home with gold and bronze medals from the Karsten Huth Memorial Tournament in Kamloops last weekend
The U16B Thunder went unbeaten to claim top spot in their tournament, while the Cowichan U14B team went 3-2 to finish third in their tourney. The tournament was the first for the Cowichan players since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was great to see the kids having fun and playing games after two years of restrictions,” Cowichan U14 manager Raina Bennefield commented.
The U16B Thunder got off to an excellent start with a 9-1 win over West Kootenay behind five goals from Nate Akhurst, with two goals and two assists from Carter Blace, two goals and one assist from Hunter Rowe, one goal from Case Claxton, four assists from Isaac Ryan, two assists from Dane Stewart, and one assist each from Conrad Pilon, Jack Isherwood and Ben Wools.
Akhurst again led the way in the next game, posting six goals and one assist in an 11-3 win over Shuswap. Stewart had two goals and one assist, Marcus Parmar had two goals, Wools and Blace scored one apiece, Trey West and Elora Waardenburg each had two helpers, and Isherwood added one assist.
Cowichan’s third game saw them edge Chilliwack 9-8. Akhurst scored four goals and set up two, while Waardenburg had two goals, Rowe, Claxton and Liam Groicher scored one each, Stewart had two assists, and Parmar, West and Madeline Perret each had one assist.
The gold-medal final was a rematch against Chilliwack, with Cowichan winning 12-5. Blace set the pace with four goals and three assists, while Akhurst had three goals and three helpers, Waardenburg had two goals and one assist, Stewart and Ryan each recorded a goal and three assists, Rowe scored once, and Annika MacDonald had one assist.
The U14B Thunder opened their tournament with a 9-7 loss to the host Kamloops Rattlers. Joel Perret scored twice, and Jesse Bell, Owen Blace, Nelson Sylvester, Matthew Daines and Sully Steeves added one apiece.
Cowichan got into the win column in their next game, a 5-1 victory over Williams Lake. Perret again scored two, with one each by Steeves, Blace and Sada Bennefield.
Perret and Steeves scored the Thunder’s goals in their third game, a 13-2 loss to Chilliwack. Perret then notched a hat trick as Cowichan came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat West Kootenay 6-4. Sylvester scored twice in that game, and Steeves added one.
That put Cowichan into the bronze medal game, a rematch with Williams Lake, which the Thunder won 4-2 on two goals by Steeves and one each by Perret and Sylvester.
Ryley Gallaugher stepped in to play goal for Cowichan at the tournament in place of the team’s regular goalie.
“We have a mix of kids from new lacrosse players to players in their second to fourth years,” U14 head coach Bill Sanderson noted. “Sharing responsibilities on the floor made for a hard fought bronze medal.”