Two Quesnel hockey rep teams have been on the podium in recent weeks.
The U11 Thunder won their home tournament on the Feb. 3-5 weekend. They struggled through the round robin portion with a record of 2-1-1 but it was enough to get into the playoff round and from there it was all Quesnel.
“The tournament didn’t start the way we wanted it to as we lost our first game 2-1 to Prince George Tier 1 Black. But the kids came back and fought their way into the finals by beating PG Tier 1 White 3-2 and Tying Kamloops Tier 1 3-3,” said head coach Matt Powell.
That pitted the Thunder and head coach Matt Powell up against their tournament nemesis, the Cougars Black team from Prince George.
“Before the final game against PG T1 Black there was an energy in the dressing room that you could just tell the kids were ready to play and they ended up winning 7–0,” Powell said.
“They are a very resilient group of kids, when things get hard they know how to push through,” Powell added. “And they need to be resilent to compete against Tier 1 teams given that Quesnel is a Tier 3 association. They’ve played in four tournaments this year and have ended up with three gold medals and one bronze medal. After final buzzer I was very proud of the kids. They are a special group and it was nice for them to accomplish what they did in front of so many home fans.”
The other hardware around Quesnel hockey players’ necks came from a road tournament. On the Jan. 20-22 weekend the U13 Thunder attended the Vernon Winter Classic Tournament.
“The team went undefeated in the round robin, defeating West Vancouver 11-1, Kelowna 5-3 and North Okanagan 9-3,” said team manager Joelle Harvey. “In the semi-finals the team faced Smithers and won 4-3 to advance to the finals. The final game was against Chilliwack, the game was tied at the end of the third period 5-5 and went straight to a best of five shootout, where Chilliwack’s fifth shooter scored, winning the game for Chilliwack 6-5.”
Since then, the U13 Thunder had league games in Quesnel versus Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.