The Nakusp Falcons Bantam team headed out to Castlegar last weekend for a Bantam House Tournament. There were eight teams in total, which included Grand Forks, Nelson, Penticton, Greater Trail 1, Great Trail 2, Vernon and Castlegar.
Nakusp’s first game was against the Vernon Cougars at 5:30 p.m Friday evening at the Pioneer Arena.
Vernon opened the scoreboard in less than a minute but then Nakusp’s very own Trinity Didier answered back two minutes later with her second goal of the season.
Aidan Hascarl was the only player from either team to score a goal in the second, then Issac Flamand put Nakusp up by two, five minutes into the third period. Vernon scored less than a minute later bringing the game to a one goal difference. The plays went back and forth as the teams were very well matched and many shots on net from both teams.
Captain Isaac Flamand got another goal with four minutes left in the game, giving the Falcons a little bit of breathing room, and a collected sigh of relief from the family members in the stands. Final score was 4-2 for the Falcons.
The team was up early the next morning to face Castlegar at 8:15 a.m. It was a well fought and exhausting hockey game, as Nakusp goalie Ronan Goodrich was able to stop 37 shots on net, with a total of 44 shots on goal, while the Castlegar goalie only had 18 shots on net. Isaac Flamand got the first and last goal of the game while Ewan Carter and Aidan Hascarl got the other two. Final score was 7-4 for the Castlegar Rockies.
The team didn’t get much time to rest as they had to play their next game against Greater Trail 2 at 11:30 a.m.
Nakusp lost 5-2, with Isaac Flamand and Ewan Carter scoring the 2 goals, both unassisted.
Later that evening, after a well deserved afternoon of hot tubbing, swimming, napping and eating, the Falcons went over to the Castlegar Complex to watch the Selkirk Saints win by one goal against the Trinity Western Spartans. After the game it didn’t take much convincing to get the team to call it an early evening to prepare for the final games the next morning.
Sunday mornings game was postponed a couple of hours due to the heavy rain that fell all night making the old, leaky Pioneer Arena unfit for hockey games.
They had to reschedule all the games to be played at the Complex, which made some teams quite happy as it is a much better arena for playing and spectating, but the Penticton team forfeited due to their long drive back home. They were set to play for first place against Grand Forks.
The Nakusp Falcons faced off against the Vernon Cougars for the second time this tournament and for a third place battle, and battle they did.
Isaac Flamand scored the first and only goal in the first period and the Falcons were able to hold the lead until near the end of the second.
You could sense the tension in the stands as the teams were getting more aggressive with each play, and it was only a matter of time until a fight broke out which put Isaac Flamand and Aidan Hascarl in the penalty box for the remainder of the period. Vernon was able to squeak one by Ronan Goodrich, but Aidan Hascarl followed with a quick goal putting the Falcons back in the lead.
Many more penalties were taken by the Falcons and the Cougar, which made for a very fast, exciting hockey final.
With only a couple of minutes left in the game and Vernon on a power play, the Vernon Cougars scored a final goal giving them the win of 3-2.
Assistant captain Ewan Carter said, “It’s a little disappointing to end a great weekend of hockey with a loss in the final game, but I am proud of my team as we played hard and didn’t give up, even when we were down. We’ll get them next time!”