Snowy silver for Legends

When the North Okanagan Legends arrived in Burnaby last weekend, they couldn’t help but notice the warm, sunny weather and blossoming flowers.

It didn’t last long as, in a matter of  hours, a harsh winter storm hit the Lower Mainland, leaving the Legends to compete in the B.C. Bantam Field Lacrosse Championships in a virtual white-out.

With the grounds crew unable to keep up with the worsening conditions, the tournament was cancelled after the round-robin. The Legends won silver by virtue of winning their pool at 2-1. New Westminster, who went 3-0 in the other pool, claimed gold. North Island also went 2-1 but lost the head-to-head with North Okanagan to take bronze.

“The team is very disappointed that they did not get to play for gold as the talk around the fields was they were the team to beat,” said Legends’ head coach Wes Landels.

It turns out the most exciting thing about Sunday was the drive home as both highways were closed at one point because of all the falling snow.

Because the Interior league winds up in mid-November, the Legends arrived on the coast having not played a game since early December.

“It’s hard showing up at an event like this having not played a game in almost three months,” said Legends’ assistant coach Jeff Connauton. “The leagues on the coast and on the Island just completed their league championships two weeks ago as the weather allows them to play all winter.”

The Legends fell 3-2 to Richmond in their Friday opener. Game MVP was midfielder Liam Drabiuk.

“We could not catch, could not pass and had a terrible time shooting the ball. It was a disappointing loss as we had beaten Richmond twice this year in tournament play,” said Landels.

North Okanagan responded by grounding Vancouver Island champion North Island 9-6.  It was a tight game going into the third quarter, but then things seemed to click for the Legend offence. Game MVP was netminder Brennan Metlewsky.

Playing on a snow-covered field, the Legends used solid team defence to ground Delta 10-1 Saturday afternoon. The Legends built up a 3-0 lead by their third possession.

“We took the other team out of the game in the first half. They were mentally done,” said Connauton.

Midfielder Jake Thomson was game MVP and midfielder Mike Hanley won the Fair Play Award.