The Coquitlam Adanacs grounded the Kamloops Venom 9-4 in the B.C. Junior B Lacrosse Championships final before 300 fans Monday afternoon at Kal Tire Place.
The Adanacs advance to the national Founders Cup, Aug. 14-20, in Saskatoon. Coquitlam finished fifth at the 2016 Cup, won by the Orangeville Northmen of Ontario.
Jake Pelletier of the Vernon Tigers, who lost 12-11 to the Westshore Bears of Victoria in the bronze-medal tilt Monday morning, has been added to the Coquitlam roster for nationals. Pelletier was named to the provincial tournament’s first all-star team.
Coquitlam, who won the West Coast League title at 15-1, ran the table in the provincials, which they also ruled last year. They held 5-1 and 7-1 period leads in the final.
Chris Turenne pulled the hat trick to earn game MVP for the Adanacs, while goalie Matt Hans took similar honours for Kamloops. Hans will also join Coquitlam in Saskatoon.
Tourney MVP Josh Kemp supplied 2+3 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 League crown at 13-3 before dispatching Vernon in a thrilling five-game final playoff series, outshot Coquitlam 41-40.
Anthony Matusiak, captain Riley Peterson, Erik Bunce and Caden 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.”
Kemp compiled 12 goals and 22 points in the tournament.
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,” said Hans. “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 boys played their hearts out and had a hell of a weekend but we just couldn’t pull it off. I’ll be happy to go to the nationals with this team. They’re a good squad and they proved it tonight.”
The Adanacs, who have several players who crosstrain through soccer or hockey, have a dozen core players from last year’s championship team. They rallied to bounce the Bears 12-11 in a Sunday preliminary tilt, falling behind 6-0.
“It was a good win for the boys,” said Coquitlam captain Josh Goble. “We didn’t have many good starts earlier in the tournament but today was a good one. “We’ve have some great guys on O and get lots of goals and we’ve been pretty solid on dee and some goaltending. Fayaz Baradi is a good coach, O and dee, and a good leader. The boys are all athletes; we all work together, grinded it out and had a good season.”
Coquitlam opened the four-team tourney with a 13-5 win over the Venom and then iced the Tigers 14-10 in a Sunday matinee. Vernon lost 9-5 to Kamloops in their final round-robin game Sunday.
Peterson, who led the Venom with 46 goals and 106 points in the regular season, gave props to Coquitlam for a stellar final.
“That was a tough one,” said Peterson, 21, waiting to receive his medal. “It sucks. We thought we were gonna to be in it. We ran our systems, we played great dee and Matty was great back there, but they’re a good team. They keep moving; they’re hard to compete against.”
The Venom went to overtime in Game 5 to take out Vernon in the league playoff final series after a 13-3 first-place finish.
“I’m proud of our guys making the final,” said Peterson, 21. “Beating Vernon in the final to make it here was great and second in the province is pretty damn good.”
Peterson is stoked about the Founders Cup, but unsure of his life plans past the nationals.
“I’m not sure what the future holds, but hopefully I can keep playing.”
Westshore parlayed a hat trick from Hayden Ash into a bronze-medal win over Vernon. Brett Olsen scored three times for the Tigers, while Jake Pelletier pocked 2+3, Eric Reid bagged a deuce and Steele Pelletier counted 1+3. Jordy Barr added 1+2, while Thomas Landels also converted.
The all-star teams: First: Goalie, Quintin Fisk, Coquitlam. Kemp, Coquitlam. Riley Marsh, Westshore. Peterson, Kamloops. Pelletier, Vernon. Brian Smith, Coquitlam. Second: Goalie, Hans, Kamloops. Barr, Vernon. Landels, Vernon. Ryan Mobilio, Coquitlam. Anthony Matusiak, Kamloops. Chris Reid, Westshore.