The Peewee Sooke Thunderbirds walked away with silver in the 2nd Annual Sooke Minor Hockey Peewee tournament on March 18 at SEAPARC arena.
The 11 and 12 year olds made it to the gold final round, in a tournament with eight other teams, but lost 8-4 to the Port Coquitlam Pirates.
Coach Craig Didmon said the team played well for players who had only been on ice for a year.
“They played well all year and they’re a team people at the start of the year didn’t think was very strong,” he said. “They always stepped up to the plate, even in the final we never gave up. We kept battling till the buzzer went.”
The boys fought hard, but lost the game in the third period when the Pirates earned early points that took them too far ahead.
Didmon said the Thunderbirds’ goalie was pulled in the last two minutes of the game in an effort to make the score 8-5.
Didmon said although the young players lost the medal, they learned a valuable lesson instead.
“Sometimes you have to lose to learn how to win and I think they got that impressions yesterday and understand.”
The players showed grit and adversity, which was proven in their game against the Parkville Oceanside Generals on March 17, where the boys won 10-1.
“Up until the final we’d only let in two goals in the whole tournament.
Didmon said Thunderbird goalie Shawn Parkinson was outstanding all year and served as a true leader for the team.
He said captain Jordan Schutt was their, “work horse and leader.”
“It was a great team,” Didmon said.
Didmon, who also coaches for the Victoria Royals, said it was an enjoyable contrast to hone the skill of the young players.