With the medal rounds established last night, Monday, Canada Day, was all about the hardware. First up, Quebec took on Ontario in a physical matchup in the bronze medal match. Ontario applied the pressure and capitalized on a few first half goals. Jagpreet Singh fired home a PC rocket near the end of the first half as he has done all tournament. Ontario smashed in a few late ones to ice the game and claim the bronze medal. Many of Quebec’s players will get a chance at redemption in the U18 division and the young men have a lot to be proud of from this event.
The gold medal match was the battle of BC with the Rams and Lions going head to head for a second time. The first match was a draw so it was fitting that the two top teams would duke it out in the finals. The Lions jumped out to an early lead in the first few minutes of the game. the Rams answered right at the end of the half as Gavin Bains scored his first of two goals in the game. As if a mirror image of the first half, the Lions cracked the keeper in the opening minutes of the second half. The Rams then put the Lions under siege for the majority of the second half earning the equalizer by way of the penalty corner with three minutes to play.
It seemed fitting that the two teams would head to a penalty shootout to settle the national championship final. BC Lions goalkeeper, Ethan McTavish stopped the first four Rams shooters giving the Lions one final chance to ice it. Harbir Sidhu, later named player of the tournament, stormed down and fired home the tournament winner in emphatic fashion.
Rowan Childs, a member of the champions BC Lions, said the team set out to win nationals at the beginning of the season and was proud of the team’s effort today in the finals.
“We’ve talked about being able to manage the lows and capitalize on the highs and I think we did that well today,” Childs said. “
Childs was standing and watching at the half line during the drama of the shootout but his teammates took care of the rest.
“I mean, Ethan going four-for-four to start really got us fired up…and then when [Harbir] went down at the end, we just knew he was going to score.”
A dramatic ending to an amazing tournament. Michael Mackenzie, of the silver medalist BC Rams was awarded the Graeme Carswell Memorial Fair Play Award. Despite the disappointing result in the final, the 19-year old was very humbled to receive the award and hopes to continue to exemplify what it stands for.
“I’m honoured for sure,” he said. “I really like to keep things positive on the field and I’m looking forward to continuing playing and improving in the coming years.”
Gryphon Hockey Tournament 11:
Lyle Fernandes | Floyd Mascarenhas | Christopher Tardif | Josip Krleza | Matthew Barnett | Tanvir Kang | Gavin Bains | Iqwinder Gill | Michael Mackenzie | Rowan Childs | Harbir Sidhu |
Graeme Carswell Memorial Award: Michael Mackenzie
Player of the tournament: Harbir Sidhu