It wasn’t how Saskatchewan wanted to start their tournament, but it ended with a decent finish.
Team Sask wrapped up the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup with a bronze medal on Sunday afternoon in Calgary with a 2-1 victory over Manitoba.
“The first night there, seven guys got sick. We weren’t sure if it was food poisoning or the flu. The majority of our forwards were the ones that got sick,” explained assistant coach Trevor Weisgerber. “Any time you can win a medal, it is good. Obviously you want to be in that gold medal game, but seven guys ended up getting sick with the flu.”
The team played short-handed for the whole tournament battled through for the other three games.
“They didn’t have all their energy. A lot of them missed the first game and they felt better, but energy wise, they were running out of gas pretty quick,” stated Weisgerber.
Saskatchewan started the tournament off with 6-3 win over Manitoba, but then were dropped by British Columbia and shutout by Alberta.
“B.C. was big, strong and fast. All four lines were very strong and they had good defence and goaltending. All around, they were by far the strongest,” stated Weisgerber. “Even in the game we played them, we played very well. It was 1-1 late and then they ended up scoring a few on us late in the game.”
With a record of 1-2 in the round robin action, Saskatchewan was dropped into the bronze medal game against Manitoba. It was a 0-0 stalemate until 5:10 of the third period when Shane Collins blasted a shot from the point that beat goaltender Mario Petit. Regan Nagy scored in the final two minutes of the game into an empty net to score the eventual game winner. Team Manitoba scored just 16 seconds after the Nagy goal to attempt the comeback.
“That was a great game that went back and forth. Both goaltenders played very well and made some big stops throughout the game,” said Weisgerber. “We were all over them the last 10 minutes of the game and we got one by him, finally.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.