Sports

Langley Thunder avenge 2010 defeat

Captain Nathaniel Kozevnikov, and assistant captains Caleb Pearson and Christian Bosa with the provincial banner and championship trophy. -
Captain Nathaniel Kozevnikov, and assistant captains Caleb Pearson and Christian Bosa with the provincial banner and championship trophy.
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It was payback time for the Langley Thunder and they made sure to deliver.

Two years ago, at the peewee A1 provincial box lacrosse championships, the Coquitlam Adanacs ended the Thunder’s B.C. championship hopes in the round robin.

The sting of that defeat lingered for a long time, and finally, this past weekend, Langley exacted revenge.

Playing at the B.C. bantam A1 provincial lacrosse championships in Burnaby, the Thunder defeated Coquitlam 5-4 in the gold medal game.

“A huge win for us; it is awesome,” said Langley coach Tom Johnson.

Johnson has coached this particular group of players every second year since they were at the novice level.

And that loss at the peewee provincials has a lasting effect on the players.

“The whole year we had a goal to make provincials and get Coquitlam back for knocking us out two years ago,” Johnson said.

“At the first practice of the year, we sat down and said we are here for one reason: to win gold at provincials.”

The tournament got off to a rough start for the Thunder as they dropped their opener, 7-6 to Coquitlam.

“But we knew we could do it,” Johnson said.

Langley bounced back to defeat Burnaby 11-5 and then defeated Ridge Meadows 5-2. They closed the round robin with a 6-3 win over Juan de Fuca and then shutout New Westminster 6-0.

In the semifinals, the Thunder doubled New Westminster 6-3 to earn a spot in the championship.

The Thunder trailed for most of the game as Coquitlam led 3-1 and 4-2 at the intermissions.

A big problem in the opening 40 minutes was penalty trouble as Langley was short-handed eight times.

But the penalty killers kept the damage minimal, including killing off a pair of 5-on-3 advantages.

That set the stage for an epic third period.

“We stayed disciplined and stuck to the game plan,” Johnson said.

“We got lots of shots and executed the plays and played tough, hard-nosed lacrosse.”

The Thunder drew a couple of power plays of their own in the third.

“Our power play has been lethal all year,” Johnson said. “We made some adjustments and we buried on two of our power plays.”

Langley scored the winning goal late in regulation.

Christian Bosa earned game MVP honours while goaltender Roman Rose was named provincial MVP.

“When (Roman) is on, he is awesome,” the coach said.

“And our defence was phenomenal. We have a couple of studs who are going to be amazing players at a high level one day.

“They locked down (Coquitlam’s) star players.”

Caleb Peadson earned the Warrior Fair Play Award while Rose was named to the tournament all-star team.

The Thunder are:  Ryan Martel, Caleb Pearson, Carson Yamamoto, Christian Bosa, Connor Watson, Daniel Stead, Dawson Calfa, Ethan Goodman, Jesse Wellenbrink, Chase Moore,  Maximillian Joseph, Manny Dewsbury, Tyler Simonsen, Mathew Brunsch, Nathaniel Kozevnikov, Quinn McKitrick, Ryan Alcos, Hudson Shelvey, Roman Rose and Ryan Wellburn. They are coached by Tom Johnson, Tyler Codron, Robert Bosa and Rob Martel. Dominic Bosa and Noah Kozevnikov were the official team ball boys.

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Langley also had a team at the bantam C provincial tournament in Burnaby.

The Thunder went 0-3, losing 9-2 to Campbell River, 8-0 to Kelowna and 7-5 to Burnaby.

Austin Gola earned the Warrior Fair Play Award for Langley while teammate Adam Hannesson was named to the all-star team.

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