Whether they’re sporting a medal or not, the West Kootenay Wildcats bantam girls’ team knows it put in a medal-winning performance on Wednesday.
The team defeated Prince George 3-1 to take third place at the B.C. Female Bantam Championships in Kelowna.
Lindsay Swanson scored twice on the power play and Denomie Vockeroth Fisher added a single to give the team third place in the eight-team event.
Ironically, even though medals are presented to the first and second-place teams, B.C. Hockey provided no bronze medals for the third place team.
“We really elated for the girls,” said head coach Cary Fisher, whose team finished with a 3-2 record.
“They played really well. We outworked them for the final two periods and got the win. That was awesome.”
After a scoreless first period the Wildcats grabbed a 2-0 lead in the middle frame.
“Our kids are in really good shape and we slowly started to pull away,” said Fisher.
Prince George slipped one into the Wildcats’ net to start the third to cut the deficit to one.
“We got the puck deep on them one more time and managed to get the third goal on a beautiful play.”
Prince George pulled its goaltender in the final minutes but never mounted any last-second drama.
Fisher said it was disappointing the team didn’t receive a token acknowledgement, like the bronze medal, for their efforts.
“They deserve a medal,” he said.
“They worked their butts off all year and finished third in the province.
“I think it sends the wrong message. This isn’t the Olympics and gold is the only reason you should play.”
He added the team quickly got over the snub and relished their accomplishment.
“They’re very proud. This group is really tight. Even though they’re from all over the West Kootenay, they’re really good friends.”
Meanwhile in Salmon Arm, the Rossland-Trail Midget Rep Tier 2 team fell one goal short of qualifying for the playoff round.
The team battled Salmon Arm to a thrilling 2-2 draw Tuesday night to wrap up round robin play. Archie McKinnon and Steven Simister scored for the Reps.
However, the draw put Salmon Arm into the playoff round while the Reps fell one point short.
In other provincial action. the West Kootenay Pee Wee Wildcats closed out their provincials in Clearwater against the host team Wednesday afternoon.
At the Pee Wee Tier 2 championships in Aldergrove, the Rossland-Trail squad dropped a 7-6 decision to the host team.
It was the second one-goal loss for the Pee Wees who finished the tournament with an 0-4 record.