Crunch wins gold at bantam hockey tournament

A Comox Valley bantam hockey team that goes by the name, The Crunch, won a tournament last weekend in Port McNeill.

The round-robin started with an easy win over the home team, followed by a harder win against Port Hardy. The Crunch then lost to the unbeaten Powell River, setting up a semi-final against another unbeaten team from Nanaimo. Defenders Cole Barker, Mathew Dobler, Kamil Guay and Dylan Clarke stood tall, turning away Nanaimo’s strong forward lines. The Crunch prevailed 2-1.

The team faced Powell River in the gold medal game. Backed by the hard-working defence, the three forward lines with captain Aiden Kearns, Mason Longacre, Matthew Munger, Evan Yaretz, Wyatt Mousseau, Emalee Box, Merric Holloway, Saxon Parkin and Marco Paul-Hus pressured Powell’s defence and scored first.

But Powell River equalized within a minute — a scenario that repeated itself three times.

Powell River took a 4-3 lead near the end of the game. But with two minutes left, the Crunch tied it 4-4, forcing a shootout.

During the tournament, Comox Valley could count on spectacular goaltending from Andrew Munger — and this was not about to change. In his usual calm demeanour, Andrew stopped all three penalty shots, and was subsequently ‘crunched’ by his teammates in a joyful celebration.

Kudos to coaches Darryl Barker, Kirby Parkin and Ross Longacre for rolling the lines in true house hockey fashion no matter what the score.

Comox Team 2 won its fourth-place game. The players stuck around to watch their fellow Comox players in the final.

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