While a healthy goalie may not have led them to victory, the Prince George Kodiaks know the value of having Chelsey Cherkas in their lineup.
Cherkas was injured during the first half of the Provincial A Cup under-13 girls’ bronze medal game between the Kodiaks and Langley Lightning on Sunday. The Kodiaks were losing 1-0 when Cherkas took a knee to the ribs and couldn’t finish the game. It was a tough pill to swallow for an individual who one day earlier collected a shutout in goal during a 1-0 victory over the Semiahmoo Thunder of Surrey.
The Kodiaks went on to lose the bronze medal game 4-0.
“It was difficult for our girls,” Kodiaks head coach Ian Wells said. “It rattled them a bit, but Emily Warkentine who went in goal, who usually plays forward and defence, went in and did a great job. The girls were really proud of her.”
The Kodiaks finished the competition with a record of 1-3. Their only victory was Semiahmoo’s only loss, as the Lower Mainland squad won the B.C. under-13 girls title with a 4-3 victory over the Surrey Talons on Sunday.
Wells said the victory Saturday was their highlight of the weekend.
“That was a great thing for the girls, they played fantastic. Semiahmoo’s a great team,” he said. “We’re not far off. In all the games, we were in them and could’ve won at least our fair share. Sometimes you don’t get the breaks and sometimes the other team outplays you at certain spells and takes advantage of their dominance at certain times.”
The Kodiaks opened the tournament with a 2-0 loss to the Talons on Thursday. The following day they were edged 2-1 by Langley in a game in which they surrendered the lead late into the second half. Wells said in the final 15 minutes his squad made a couple mistakes.
“Overall I think it was a great experience for our girls. I think we proved that we can play at that level,” he said. “The girls, I think, felt really good about their effort. Our skill’s up there, we’re just not used to playing that competition on a weekly basis that they do, play(ing) each other.”
Morgan Samuelson scored for the Kodiaks in their lone victory, while Warkentine got credit for Saturday’s marker.
Wells appreciated the efforts the everybody involved in putting the tournament together.
“It was great support. I would also like to thank the organizing committee and all the volunteers because they did a fantastic job,” he said. “It was first class, the officials. Of all the tournaments we’ve gone to I think it was the best tournament.”