The Nelson U13 Selects Boys entered two teams into the Terry Walgren Memorial Tournament in Nelson this past weekend by “borrowing” enough U12 players to round out a second team.
Both teams played well throughout the weekend, but the team comprised exclusively of U13 boys triumphed over their mixed U12/U13 teammates in the opening game Friday night 3-0. Goals in that game were scored by Ezra Foy, Ernesto Archambault and Thomas Baxter.
The next morning, the mixed U12/U13 team played against Kootenay South. In a tightly contested match, the Nelson boys were able to walk away with a 1-1 tie, that co-coach, James Baxter described as, “a terrific effort and display by the boys.”
The goal in that game was scored by Keanu Tromans.
In the other match, the straight U13 team easily defeated Columbia Valley 5-1 with goals coming from Jaden Dyck, Milo Baranyai-Sheppard, Aidan Mushumanski and a pair from Angus Paterson.
With the two wins, the straight U13 team had already booked its ticket to the final, regardless of the results of its final game. But the mixed U12/U13 team needed to win its final game, with a shutout and also have Kootenay South lose to also make the final.
In a riveting game, the younger team did their part, beating Columbia Valley 2-0, with both goals coming from Max Spielman and the shutout credited to goaltender Blake Markin-Hellekson. Unfortunately, the straight U13 team was not able to hold on to a 1-0 lead against Kootenay South and ended in a 1-1 tie (with the goal scored by Archambault) that resulted in Kootenay South making the final and ending the dream of an all Nelson gold medal match.
“I am so proud of how those boys with several younger players on their team, played throughout the tournament,” said U13 coach Kerry Dyck. “To tie Kootenay South and beat Columbia Valley like that is quite an accomplishment. Even though they didn’t make the final, they should be very proud of themselves!”
In the final the straight U13 team from Nelson faced Kootenay South for the second time on the weekend.
Again, it was a fiercely contested game, with chances going both ways. In the end, Kootenay South prevailed with a 2-1 score, with Luka Eyre scoring the lone Nelson goal.
“The boys came so close to tying it in the late stages of the game, when they put together a great passing sequence resulting in a great scoring chance in close that just went over the bar,” coach Dyck said of the final contest.
“Although we fell just short of our goal of the gold medal, the boys put in a great effort, and should be proud of themselves,” added coach Baxter.