Comox Valley lacrosse goalie Haydin Gibson stood tall for Team B.C. at the Minor Box Lacrosse Nationals in Coquitlam, helping the bantam girls win a gold medal.
The 14-year-old tended the pipes in a nail-biting final Saturday against Ontario. After two scoreless periods, B.C. prevailed with a 3-2 win.
“It was pretty intense,” said Keith Gibson, Haydin’s father. “With 14 minutes left, it was 3-1 B.C. With two minutes and 33 seconds, Ontario scored, and then Ontario had a breakaway with three seconds left to tie it. Super exciting. It’s really how the gold medal game should be.”
Saturday’s game was a rubber match between the two sides, which traded victories during round-robin play. Haydin earned MVP honours for B.C.’s 2-1 win over Ontario Tuesday. On Thursday, Ontario evened the score with a 5-4 win.
Haydin is about to enter Grade 9 at Isfeld Secondary. She stands nearly 6’3”.
“She’s a tall wall, they called her,” Keith said.
At Team B.C. tryouts, Haydin competed with 11 other goalies for two berths on the team. She didn’t crack the squad last year, but was among the final four in the selection process.
“Just told to work on a few things, and she came back, so they liked that,” Keith said.
Haydin is the first goalie from the Comox Valley Lacrosse Association, boy or girl, to make a B.C. team BC in box lacrosse.
“As far as I know, she is the first (local) national gold medalist in box lacrosse, again for either gender,” said Geoff Garbutt, CVLA past-president.
Three other Comox Valley lacrosse standouts competed in Coquitlam: Jordan Vincent, midget; Kris Fournier, peewee; and Adam Bailey, bantam.
Jordan was one of two first-year players on the provincial midget team. He was selected flag bearer before the squad entered the rink for Saturday’s final against Ontario. The teams both won five games and tied one during the round robin. Ontario won the gold medal with a 12-7 win.
Ontario also defeated B.C. in the bantam and peewee boys final games.
“Those three boys are exceptional players,” Keith said, noting the geographical disadvantage of living on an island when it comes to forming a provincial team. “To have four players from our association in all four of those categories was a huge thing…It’s such a great experience. Any time you’re exposed to that high level and high energy, the kids get a taste of what the nerves are like, and what the pressure is like. You can’t replace that.”
Jordan has also been selected to play on the B.C. U15 field lacrosse team, which competes at the national championships this weekend in Kelowna. Last year, he played on the provincial U14 and U15 field lacrosse teams. The U15s won silver at last year’s national tournament, where Jordan was named to the all-star team.