After five days and four gruelling games, the Dawson Creek Canucks captured the city’s first ever Coy Cup Senior Men’s AA Championship after defeating the Kelowna Sparta, 10-4, Saturday night at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex in Williams Lake in the tournament final.
Dawson Creek head coach Chris Stevens said following the game he couldn’t be more proud of his team.
“Our guys played amazing all week,” he said. “We were dialed in right from the start, and we really came together this week as a team and it showed in a big way.
“I can’t say enough about the support we got this year. It’s an awesome feeling right now.”
The Canucks compete in the North Peace Hockey League and defeated the Fort St. John Flyers to earn their berth at this week’s Coy Cup, which began Tuesday and wrapped up Saturday night in the lakecity.
Stevens thanked the tournament organizers and volunteers from the Williams Lake Stampeders and said the team had an awesome week in Williams Lake.
We loved it,” he said. “Williams Lake was a great host. Large crowds every night — it was great to see and the guys had a blast.”
Scoring for the Canucks in the final were Wesley Shipton (2), Frederic Tanguay, Mike Lalonde (2), Kole Noms, Colten Gies, Evan Weavel and John Howes.
The Williams Lake Stampeders, meanwhile, were on the outside looking in to the tournament championship after dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker the previous night to the Sparta in the semifinal.
“It was a pretty even game both ways. Just look at the shots on goal,” said Williams Lake Stampeders president Kelly Kohlen following the semi as shots narrowly favoured Kelowna, 31-30. “Just the bounces never went our way.”
“It’s disappointing, but I think the boys on both teams played a really good game,” said Stampeders past president Marko Zurak.
“We played them four times this year and they were all close games,” Kohlen added.
Both Kohlen and Zurak thanked the overwhelming support the team received from the fans, and the tournament sponsors, throughout the week as all of the team’s games packed the stands at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex to near capacity.
“It was a success again,” Kohlen said of hosting the tournament.
“Our fans and our sponsors — we can’t give them enough credit,” Zurak said. “Without the players, the fans and the sponsors we don’t have any of this.
“Kelly and I would both also like to thank all the volunteers who helped out this week. They did a great job.”
Williams Lake finished the four-team tournament with round robin wins over the Terrace River Kings and, Thursday, a 6-4 win over Kelowna. Wednesday, they tied Dawson Creek 2-2.
Tournament MVP was awarded to Dawson Creek’s Weavel following the championship.