The Junior Stealth were one of 102 teams competing from Alberta and neighboring provinces in the 39th Annual Canada Day Lacrosse tournament in Calgary, Alberta this past weekend.
The Junior Stealth were represented in three categories of the “B” bracket; Pee Wee (10 and 11 year olds), Bantam (12 and 13 year olds), and Midget (14 and 15 year olds). Each team played two games on Saturday and Sunday and one game on Monday.
"It’s always fun attending the Canada Day Tournament and it makes it even more enjoyable seeing all three of our teams do so well,” said Doug Locker, President and General Manager of Stealth Lacrosse Academy. “It's pretty special seeing each team develop over the weekend and to watch the connection between players and coaches. I'm already looking forward to getting these teams together again for our next two tournaments."
For the second year in a row, the Midget team captured gold in the ‘B’ Division, downing Moose Jaw 4-3 in a physical final on Monday morning. The game featured outstanding goaltending from both teams. The Junior Stealth were the top seed with 45 goals scored while only allowing 9 in the round robin. The team beat Cali Lax 9-4 in the semi-final, going a perfect 5-0, despite playing with only nine runners and two goalies throughout the entire tournament. The Midget team was coached by Stealth defender Kyle Sorensen.
The Bantam team was also the number one seed after the round robin, outscoring their opponents 58-2. They made it to the Gold Medal game after a 13-1 semi-final win against Blackfalds on Sunday. That set up a final against the second seed, Standing Buffalo on Monday afternoon. In a hard fought defensive matchup, the Junior Stealth fell 4-3, picking up the Silver Medal. The Bantam team was coached by Stealth transition player Tyler Garrison.
The Pee Wee’s won three of four round robin games, scoring a division high 49 goals and only gave up 14. The team won bronze, defeating Medicine Hat 8-2 on Monday morning. They dropped a tight 7-6 decision to Medicine Hat in their opening game on Friday before bouncing back with a convincing 19-1 victory over the Knights later that afternoon. On Saturday the team defeated High River 13-3 and Prince George 11-3 to advance to the Bronze Medal game. They were coached by Stealth transition player Jarrett Toll and Stealth defender and captain Curtis Hodgson. Hodgson is also the Director of Stealth Lacrosse Academy.
“I am thrilled with how our first weekend of Junior Stealth tournament competition went in Calgary,” said Hodgson. “Obviously having all 3 teams medal is a nice accolade, but it was more gratifying to watch the kids on each team improve and develop over the course of the gtournament. We are lucky to have great coaching and support systems in place for our kids. I'm looking forward to getting ready for and competing in California.”
The Junior Stealth teams include players from Campbell River, up to the Shuswap and as far south as Seattle.
The Junior Stealth are off to their next tournament, August 1-2, USBOXLA Nationals taking place in Irvine, California.