Heading to the provincial championships, coach Frank Lock was told his team would be lucky to win a single game.
But his ball hockey squad, the Outlaws, proved the critics wrong, returning from the B.C. provincial ball hockey championships with the bronze medal.
The peewee (U12) team had won the right to represent the Valley Ball Hockey Association after winning the league title on June 14.
The provincial championships ran June 20 to June 22.
The local team’s lone loss came to the eventual gold medalists from Victoria, who defeated the Outlaws 2-0 in the semifinals.
“Victoria had scored six or more goals in every single game, so to hold them to two goals was quite the feat,” Lock said.
“And to come home with the bronze medal, was the icing on the cake.
“They really wanted to win something.”
In the third-place game, the Outlaws defeated Tri City 4-1.
The team went 1-0-2 during the round robin.
“The team played awesome, it was a total team effort,” Lock said.
The Outlaws were one of four Valley Ball Hockey Association teams representing the league at provincials over the weekend.
The Warriors pup (U10) team lost in the bronze medal game 5-4 to Tri City on a late goal. The team went 1-1-1 in the round robin and lost 8-5 in the semifinals to Ridge Meadows.
“I could not be more proud of our boys for how they played this weekend and for what these kids accomplished together this season,” said coach Craig McDougall.
The Flaming Hawks peanut (U8) went 0-3 in the round robin.
The Orange Team minor (U14) went 1-2 in round robin play.
Two more VBHA teams are set to compete this weekend as the Ridge Meadows Ball Hockey Association hosts the major (U16) and junior (U19) tournaments. The All Blacks will compete in the former while the Express represent the VBHA in the latter.