Sicamous dominates national road hockey tournament

Sicamous Whalers dominate division in Hockey Night in Canada's Play On! tourney.

The Sicamous Whalers pose after taking top spot in their division in Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! road hockey tournament.

Sicamous was well represented  in Canada’s largest street hockey tournament, Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On!, held this past weekend in Kelowna. There were two teams from Sicamous, including the Sicamous Whalers  and the Siccy Swag District. The latter was comprised of Kaylen Kerr, Austin Miller, Joshua Johns, Karter Anderson, Mitchell Blight and Colby Sherlock. The Whalers consisted of captain Cain Franson, assistant-captain Dylan Franson, Stewart Coyle, Jameson Stoski, Jesse Ducklow and goaltender Jesse Zeeb.

The Whalers wailed on the competition, taking first place in their division, while the Swag pulled through with a respectable third-place showing in their division.

In their first game, the Whalers faced the Rutland Ruckus and, after a slow start and a 3-2 lead at the half, the Whalers picked it up in the second frame, scoring 5 for an 8-4 win. Their second game saw them facing the team that knocked them out in a shootout the previous year,  Team Pinnete. The Whalers claimed their revenge, beating Team Pinnete 15-7.

Their final game of the round robin saw the Whalers facing the Jagerbombs and, in this high-scoring affair, the game was tied late at 11 all. After Zeeb made some spectacular saves to keep the Whalers in the game, Ducklow was able to break the tie. Stoski and Dylan Franson added two more markers to give  he Whalers a 14-11 victory. The Whalers were one of only three teams to finish with a perfect record, and were the 3rd seed heading into playoffs.

On Sunday, the Whalers faced the Wheeling Nailers in the quarter finals and, after falling behind 2-0 early in the contest, Franson tallied three back-to-back goals to put Sicamous back in front, and they never looked back, taking the game 12-5.

In the semifinal, Sicamous faced the #2 seed and another undefeated team, the Kelowna Cripplers. This game was fast-paced and tightly checked, with great goaltending from Zeeb and great defense by Cain Franson was enough to push Sicamous through to the final with a 13-9 win.

The Whalers’ final game of the tournament saw them take on the #1 seeded and undefeated Chilliwack Tropics. The Tropics took the Whalers lightly at the start. The Sicamous team used this advantage to jump out to an early 6-0 lead before Chilliwack stormed back to cut the lead to 9-6 by the half. As the game was only up to 15, Sicamous went for the win and got themselves to a 13-9 lead. Just as the title looked promising, Chilliwack closed the gap to 13-12. Coyle, who had his best game of the tournament by far, having five goals in the second half alone, sniped in a top-shelf marker to make it 14-12 and put Sicamous one goal away from the championship. As the clock ticked down, Chilliwack’s goalie made a crucial mistake trying to pass the puck to one of his teammates. Dylan Franson read the play, picked off the pass and converted it into a 15-12 win for Sicamous. As Dylan describes it, this sent the Whalers into a “Canada Olympic-like celebration” in the middle of the court.

As for the Siccy Swag District, the team made it all the way to the semifinal of their division before losing 13-4.

They took their first game 12-1, and lost the second 3-2. In their third game, the Swag had a stellar 10-0 win, followed by a 9-5 win in their fourth game. Game five, the Swag enjoyed a 10-4 win, pushing them into the semifinals, where they suffered a 15-4 defeat. The team won the respect of an older team, who wound up cheering on the Swag all day Sunday.


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