The Vernon Source For Sports Tigers had high expectations heading into the B.C. Junior B Lacrosse Championships last weekend in Burnaby.
The Okanagan champions left Bill Copeland Arena disappointed after going 0-4 in the four-team tourney, which ended with a 13-9 loss to the West Coast champion Delta Islanders in Sunday’s bronze-medal game.
“It was a tough pill to swallow,” said Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton. “We definitely didn’t expect to go 0-4.
“In a small, tight tournament, these guys played four games in less than 48 hours. Anything can happen.”
Brumpton said penalty troubles played a big part in Vernon’s result. The Cats averaged nearly 30 minutes in penalties per game, five more than the next nearest team.
“We were in the box for half of every single game,” he said. “You’re not going to win games when you do that.
“We definitely had some commendable performances from our captain Brett Hanna, Bayne Bosquet and Darrell Landels for their work on the shortman. They logged a lot of minutes and were tremendous for us.”
Liam Drabiuk counted three goals and two assists to lead Vernon’s offence in the bronze-medal tilt. Mason Limb (2), Hanna, Craig Bigsby, Nolan Frame and Ryan Sarazin rounded out the attack in front of Joel Fruncillo (31 saves).
Vernon finished the round-robin with a 11-9 loss to the host Burnaby Lakers.
Limb (3+1), Jordan Orr (2+1), Sarazin (2), Frame (1+2), Quinton Harrish, Hanna and Braden Barr handled the offence. Aaron Jensen recorded 33 saves.
In their lone Saturday game, Drabiuk and Sarazin potted singles as the Tigers fell 13-2 to Delta.
Despite going winless, Brumpton said the boys maintained a positive attitude throughout the weekend.
“There was no fracture in our team. The guys had a great time. Each game they came in fresh and came out working hard. The chemistry these guys had is unbelievable.
“In the periods where we had some flow established, we were in the thick of it. 5-on-5 we matched up well with all the teams.”
The Tigers’ Guts and Glory Award was shared by Bosquet, who played the entire weekend on a fractured foot, and Frame, who was hospitalized after taking a spear to the throat in Vernon’s third game. He came back to play in the final game.
Frame, Bigsby, Theo Wagner and Matt Kolb are the Tigers’ graduating players.
The Island champion Saanich Tigers outlasted the Lakers 12-10 in the gold-medal game.