Winterhawk bantams win tournament 

Sports briefs: No medals for luge athletes; Sam-Finlay honoured

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN WALLMAN - Wintry fresh The Whistler Winterhawks bantam team swept aside the competition in 100 Mile House on the weekend.
  • Photo by Dan Wallman
  • Wintry fresh The Whistler Winterhawks bantam team swept aside the competition in 100 Mile House on the weekend.

The Whistler Winterhawks bantam team was shorthanded, but the players didn't let that fact stand in their way in 100 Mile House on the weekend.

Though they only had 12 skaters, a full line fewer than some of their challengers, Whistler scored a perfect 4-0 record and defeated Smithers 3-1 in the final on Nov. 26.

Head coach Mark Keenan credited the squad with embodying a true team spirit as after an inconsistent start to the season, they've now won nine games in a row.

"They've really bought into a team game," Keenan said. "They're first-years and second-years together so they've never played together and they're starting to get to know each other."

In round-robin play, Whistler defeated Winfield 11-4, Smithers 6-1 and 100 Mile House 10-2. In the latter two, which started three hours apart, the Winterhawks started slow by giving up the first goal. Once the offence got going, though, it was hard to stop.

"We didn't really have a break. I was surprised," Keenan said.

Luge athletes held off podium

Canada's luge athletes were unable to collect any medals at the Viessmann World Cup race in Winterberg, Germany on the weekend.

There were encouraging results on the women's side, however, as Kim McRae placed seventh and Alex Gough was 10th. Germans Natalie Geisenberger and Tatjana Huefner took the top two spots while American Summer Britcher was third.

The men's doubles sled of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith also ended up in the top 10, scoring an eighth-place finish. The Germans took all three podium positions with Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken scoring the gold, followed by Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arit, and Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm.

Canadians ended up toward the bottom of the table in the men's race as Mitchel Malyk was the top Canuck in 20th while Sam Edney was 28th. Italy's Kevin Fischnaller edged Germany's Felix Loch for the gold while Russian Stepan Fedorov took third.

Whistler's Reid Watts sought to qualify for the World Cup race but narrowly missed on one of 17 available spots, placing 18th in the Nations Cup qualifier.

Sam-Finlay earns award

Lil'wat Nation's Quinn Sam-Finlay earned some hardware earlier this month.

The 17-year-old basketball and soccer player was one of eight First Nations athletes from the Vancouver Coastal region to receive the Premier's Award for Excellence in Sport in Vancouver on Nov. 14.

"Thank you to the eight athletes we are honouring here this evening, and to their families and the communities that support these amazing young leaders. You are true champions on and off the field, proving that we as Indigenous people are not only surviving, but thriving," Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council regional lead Courtenay Gibson said in a release.

All 48 recipients from across the province's six regions are entered for the provincial awards, which will be given out in February. The six male and six female honourees will be invited to the Aboriginal Youth Sport Leadership Forum in March.

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