The Quesnel Thunder pose with their silver medals earned from impressive showing in Kelowna. Contributed photo

Quesnel Thunder win silver in Kelowna

Midget squad beat teams from West Kelowna, Saanich and Surrey

The Quesnel Thunder Midget hockey team captured silver at a tournament in Kelowna this past weekend (Jan. 4-6).

They bested West Kelowna (4-1), Saanich (5-3), Surrey (5-1) and tied Kelowna (4-4) in the round robin before losing in the final to Penticton (3-2), in what Thunder head coach Gord Salmons says was a back-and-forth game.

The Quesnel side had a 2-1 lead that they were unable to hang onto in the final, but Salmons says the squad has nothing to be ashamed of.

“They were good goals,” he says of the opponent’s markers. “Nothing weak. Just hard-earned goals.”

The midget coach has a lot of praise for how his team handled themselves on the weekend.

“Our guys were skating well, going after pucks and battling for position all tournament,” he says.

“We’ve been to some tournaments this year where we haven’t had a lot of success but this is our last tournament before provincials, so it was nice to see [the players] work for it.

“They played like they really wanted to win.”

Of note was the performances of forwards Aubry and Sam Inwood, who Salmons says had great weekends.

“Aubry was working really hard all weekend,” Salmons says.

“He provided lots of good back checking.

“And Sam is one of our top third-year players. For us to have success we need him to be going, and he had a really good weekend.”

Also worthy of mention was DJ Sauve, who scored some big goals; Cam Hender, who was a steadying influence; and the tight goaltending of team netminders Kaden Eckstrom and Nathan Proulx.

Salmons says he hopes the team is gelling after their strong showing down south.

“We’ve been up and down and pretty inconsistent, so hopefully this is something to build on moving forward.

“Right now they know what they need to do to beat tough teams.”

The squad is classified as a Tier 3 team but managed to put on some strong showings against some solid Tier 2 sides.

“It’s a good confidence boost moving forward,” he adds.

The group have some league games coming up against Prince George and Williams Lake before attending the Provincial Championships in Cranbrook.

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