Silver lining for junior Raiders

During the 2011 lacrosse season, there was only one team the Kelowna Raiders just didn't have an answer for.

The Port Moody Thunder beat the Raiders 15-8 in Sunday afternoon's gold medal final in Kamloops to win the B.C junior B lacrosse championship.

The Raiders ran into penalty trouble early and often in the final and the Thunder took full advantage with eight power play goals.

"Every time we scored a goal, we got a penalty and that really hurt us," said Raiders coach Kelly Cahill. "It was unfortunate, we were a but undisciplined and we paid for it. We got behind early and couldn't make it back.

"We were disappointed, but second in the province is a pretty nice accomplishment. It was our objective to get to the gold medal game and we did that."

The Raiders, who won the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League title a week earlier beating Kamloops, opened the B.C. tournament Friday with a 5-4 win over the same Venom team.

On Saturday, Kelowna lost 8-4 to Port Moody, then beat Cowichan 9-2 to finish second overall and advance to the gold medal game.

There were individual accolades for the Raiders as captain Tyler French was named the provincial tournament MVP. French and Brendan Urban—who led the Raiders in goal scoring at provincials—were named to the first all-star team. Jordan Urban and Lucas Cahill were named to the second all-star team.

It was the team's first season under the banner of the Kelowna Raiders as the Rutland Raiders and Kelowna Warriors merged prior to 2011 due to a shortage of junior-aged players in the region.

With Daryl French serving as manager, and Cahill and Travis Wray sharing the coaching duties, the Raiders posted a 13-2 record to finish first in TOJLL.

The subsequent league championship win over Kamloops was the first for a Kelowna team since Rutland won TOJLL back in 2001.

Cahill said with the current number of junior players in the Central Okanagan it will be at least two more years before Kelowna can entertain the idea of forming two teams.

Cahill said he and French will now step aside from their coaching and managing duties, and expects Travis Wray to remain on in his current capacity.


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