The Kelowna Kodiaks celebrate their Interior Field Lacrosse League title with a win over Kamloops in the final.                                -Image: Contributed

The Kelowna Kodiaks celebrate their Interior Field Lacrosse League title with a win over Kamloops in the final. -Image: Contributed

U15 Kodiaks secure spot at provincials

Kelowna wins Interior Field Lacrosse League championship over Kamloops

Kelowna Kodiaks will carry the Okanagan’s colours in the U15 division at the B.C. Youth Field Lacrosse Championships early next year in Burnaby.

Kelowna earned a spot at provincials with an 8-6 win over Kamloops in the Interior Field Lacrosse League final game.

The Kodiaks, who finished second to Kamloops in the 2017 league standings, prevailed with a strong effort from up and down the entire lineup.

“We played the type of game we needed to beat this team, it was an entire team effort from start to finish, with everyone playing at a very high level,” said coach Jamie MacGregor. “They are a very strong team that we have traditionally had trouble with, however, when we play like this with a commitment to full-field defense and playing our style of controlled play, our team rises to another level.”

Kelowna was playing with limited spares as is typical for this season, fielding only 14 players with two underage call-ups.

Chase Schiavon led the offensive charge with his breakout game of the season, scoring four goals playing as an attack, while nursing a lower body injury that kept him out of practice for the week.

“It was a very impressive effort by that young man given his injury,” coach MacGregor said.

Adding to the tally were Brad Swecera in the first, Josh Yachney in the third, and Ethan Hogg and Dexx Belanger in the fourth quarters.

Defensively, goalie Aidan Hogarth and defenders Colin MacGregor, Blake Spragge and Josh Jaramillo had stellar games, holding a potent Kamloops offensive unit to just six goals and effectively shutting down their top scorers.

The Kodiaks were once again firing on all cylinders for their final tournament, the Richmond Romp, from Nov. 10 to 13.

Despite being short Josh Yachney, who was in Baltimore with Team BC, and Colin MacGregor, a defensive cornerstone, for most of the tournament, Kelowna captured the silver medal.

Having played and beaten the top teams in the province in Richmond, before falling short in a rematch against Surrey in the final game, MacGregor expects the Kodiaks to enter provincials on a high note with medal expectations.

The B.C. championships are set for Burnaby Lake West Complex, from Feb. 9 to 12.

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