Peewee boys win B.C. A1 lacrosse title

New Westminster's peewee A1 boys' lacrosse team was the Cinderella man of the provincial championships in Kamloops.

The league's fourth-place-finishing Salmonbellies rattled the A1 establishment by knocking off Coquitlam for the first time this season - 6-4 in the semifinal - to advance to the gold-medal match.

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In the final, the peewee 'Bellies responded with a 7-5 victory over Ridge Meadows, the second straight win over the Fraser Valley association.

"We tried to motivate the kids by telling them to play for each other, and they responded," said New West coach Jason Bishop.

After dropping a 7-3 decision to Coquitlam in the opening game of the provincials, the Royal City boys found themselves trailing 3-1 heading into the final period.

New West got a spark from Andrew Bishop, who tallied just his second goal this season to start the period. First-year runner Kai George knotted the score 3-3 later in the period.

Tied 4-4 with a minute left to play, provincial MVP Kip Guthrie set up Ben Stewart at the side of the crease for the game-winning tally. New West also scored into an empty net.

New West also found new legs against a Ridge-Meadows team that had held them to just three goals in three games during the regular we do all year," said Goss. "But we always get it right.

"It was a great weekend for New West lacrosse. I'm so proud of them. . (The girls) really wanted this win. They hadn't beaten (New West) all season. The difference was we stopped thinking about what they do and started thinking what do we do best.

"They went out and worked their butts off. They got every loose ball. It was the best defence I've seen my team play."

Jessica Goodwin led the midget 2s with a pair of goals, while Alex Lund-Murray garnered the shutout. Gaby Jones had a strong outing for the silver medal-winning junior 1 'Bellies.

Second keeper Bonita Chafe had a standout performance in New West 2's 7-4 victory over Coquitlam 2 in the round robin.

The final was also the third title and last minor league game for fair play winner Linzy Butler, Emily Muir and team leader Kirsti Shanks. Meghan Scott will also graduate with two straight B.C. titles. Leah Catton also ended her minor junior career in New West.

Lauren Stewart was named New West 1's fair play winner. Burnaby's Sydney Roy earned both the junior fair play and provincial MVP awards, playing for Coquitlam 2.

"The girls are getting better - they're playing longer. They have their sticks in their hands just like the boys," said New West junior coach Kevin Ballance. "It's good to see."

tberridge@royalcityrecord.com

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