The Nelson Selects U14 boys served notice that they are the team to beat in the upcoming provincial playdowns following a 4-0 drubbing of rival Columbia Valley to claim gold at the six-team Creston Blitzz tournament over the weekend.
Micah May opened the scoring 20 minutes into the contest, picking up a feed from James Miller and tearing into the Titans’ backfield for the goal.
Six minutes later, Miller would then create some havoc of his own in front of the Columbia Valley net, and Sam Woodward jumped on a rebound to put the Queen City squad up 2-0 by the half. Second half action would see May and Nolan Percival add two more for the 4-0 win.
“It was a near perfect game for us starting from our goaltender out,” said coach Dan Szabo. “Our defensive line was rock solid, our counterattack swift, we owned the midfield and just ran them down.”
The game punctuated a remarkable weekend for the boys who went 3-0 while outscoring the opposition a combined 17-1.
In round robin action on Saturday, Nelson opened the tournament with a 4-0 victory over Cranbrook-based Kootenay East on a soggy, muddy pitch at Prince Charles Secondary in Creston. The game was scoreless until the 20 minute mark of the second half, when Spencer Szabo found the top left corner of the goal with a free kick from beyond the 18 yard box. Minutes later Szabo would find the back of the net, again crashing through the defense, then Percival scored and Szabo added his third of the match in the final minute.
Game two Saturday afternoon saw Nelson dominate Kootenay South 9-1.
Percival opened the scoring just one minute in. Nick Wethal headed one in three minutes later, converting a corner kick. Percival scored a minute after that, and Nelson was up 3-0 just five minutes in. May would add two more, followed by one from Galen Boulanger. Kootenay South countered before call-up Quinn Dawson got two of his own. Szabo finished the scoring with the only tally of the second half.
Nelson’s wins on Saturday earned them top spot in their group, setting up the first place showdown with Columbia Valley in the final. A year ago it was Columbia Valley, as U13s, that eliminated Nelson from a trip to the provincials.
“These are the same three teams we will be playing at the upcoming playdowns. A good result was important,” coach Szabo added.
Nelson will be hosting Kootenay East, Kootenay South and Columbia Valley at the provincial playdowns June 11 and 12. The winner will represent the Kootenay region at the Provincial B Cup at Penticton in July.