Chris Turenne of the Coquitlam Adanacs absorbs a check from Ryan Wightman of the Kamloops Venom in the gold-medal game at the provincial junior B lacrosse championship in Vernon on Monday.
Kevin Mitchell/Vernon Morning Star
The Coquitlam Adanacs grounded the Kamloops Venom 9-4 in the B.C. Junior B Lacrosse Championship final before about 300 fans Monday afternoon at Kal Tire Place.
“The boys played their hearts out and had a hell of a weekend, but we just couldn’t pull it off,” Kamloops goaltender Matt Hans said. “They’re a good squad and they proved it tonight.”
The Adanacs advance to the national Founders Cup, which runs from Aug. 14 to Aug. 20 in Saskatoon. Coquitlam finished fifth at the 2016 Cup, won by the Orangeville Northmen of Ontario.
Coquitlam, which won the West Coast Junior Lacrosse League title, ran the table at provincials, which they also won last year.
Chris Turenne notched hat trick to earn game MVP for the Adanacs, while Hans took similar honours for Kamloops. Hans will join Coquitlam in Saskatoon.
Tourney MVP Josh Kemp supplied two goals and three assists for the Adanacs, who got a deuce from Lucas Shein and singles from Domink Procyk and Chris Bosa. The Venom, who won the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League crown, dispatching Vernon in a thrilling five-game final playoff series, outshot Coquitlam 41-40.
Anthony Matusiak, captain Riley Peterson, Erik Bunce and midget call-up Kaden Dempsey countered for Kamloops. Peterson, Tylor Seabrooke and Colton Boomer will also play for Coquitlam at the Founders Cup.
Each team took just one minor penalty, both coming in the third period.
“We jumped out early, we stayed on top of it and we tried to keep a level head on the bench, just worry about the next play and everything,” said Kemp, 21, who hopes to get time off from work as a bartender to attend nationals. “Even in the third when they started to score a few, we just focused on next play. Getting only one penalty was big, especially after the round-robin. We really preached to stay out of the box.”
Hans was sensational, making several clutch saves to keep the Adanacs from reaching double figures. Cam King was just as good going the distance for Coquitlam.
“I think they just came out a little hotter right off the bat; we were slow-footed there and they got an early lead,” Hans said. “We tried to fight back all night, but their defence was strong and their offence is loaded, like always, and we just couldn’t hold them back.
The Adanacs, who have several players who crosstrain through soccer or hockey, have a dozen core players from last year’s championship team.
“It was a good win for the boys,” Coquitlam captain Josh Goble said. “We didn’t have many good starts earlier in the tournament, but today was a good one.
Three Kamloops Venom players cracked tournament all-star teams.
Peterson was named to the first all-star team, while Hans and Matusiak cracked the second all-star team.