’91 Grizzlies win first Christmas title after years of trying

The '91 Grizzlies got plenty of goals instead of stockings of coal at the 2015 Christmas Insomnia Tournament at Vanier Catholic Secondary School over the weekend.

The ‘91 Grizzlies got plenty of goals instead of stockings of coal at the 2015 Christmas Insomnia Tournament at Vanier Catholic Secondary School over the weekend.

After eight years of coming up short, the men’s team unwrapped its first men’s title at the 12th annual indoor soccer tournament.

The team felt “amazing” with the win, said Grizzlies captain Stephen Dynes.

“We’ve been putting our same rep team in since we were 16. It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s nice to finally win it.”

The ‘91 Grizzlies – largely made up of players born in 1991 – took the title in a thrilling come-from-behind win, beating the Raw Dogs FC 5-4 in a shootout in the final on Sunday.

They didn’t just come back once, they erased Raw Dogs leads three times in the final.

Down 2-0 with a minute left in the first half, the Grizzlies got on the board with a goal from Logan Potter on a shot from mid court. Four minutes into the second half Walker Ewing tied it up 2-2, burying a rebound in front.

Down again a few minutes later, Potter went end-to-end to find the far corner of the Raw Dogs net to make it 3-3.

Trailing again – this is getting repetitive – Grizzlies’ Mike Abbott scored with two minutes left on a pass out the corner from Jake Hanson.

“The team we played against – we’re all buddies with those guys – it’s so nice to end up playing them in the finals,” said Dynes. “It was a good, well-fought game and it’s nice that it went to PKs. Either team deserved to win tonight.”

Following a fruitless five-minute overtime, a hush fell upon the packed stands as the teams decided who would take the shots in the shootout.

Potter and teammate Cody Fraser both put ones past Raw Dogs goalkeeper Darren Richards.

Then things took another dramatic turn. Grizzlies goalkeeper Tyler Pumphrey suffered an injury making a save, but hobbled back in net to make one last one for the win.

“He’s a trooper,” said Dynes. “He has so many so many injuries going on. He just doesn’t stop. He’s definitely our team MVP in my mind.”

Scoring for Raw Dogs FC in the final were Travis Olynyk, Kyle Risby and Kurtis Hills with the last two.

“We’re pretty happy with ourselves,” said Hills. “We had a couple injuries – we lost about four guys. We were playing with six most of the tournament with one sub against teams with full benches. So I’m happy with the guys and I’m sure the guys are happy too.”

The ‘91 Grizzlies, who lost in the tournament’s final two years ago, reached the final with a tight 4-3 win over Chilkoot Chiropractic.

Jonathan Hawkins of Chilkoot Chiropractic was named Most Sportsmanlike, Risby Top Scorer and Dynes Tournament MVP.

Out of 15 round-robin matches in the men’s and women’s divisions, not one ended in a shutout. But the women’s final did.

Sarah’s Sweet Six produced a 2-0 win over the Wildcats to capture the women’s title.

“I’m just really proud of them,” said coach and team namesake Sarah Hanson. “I think they played really skillfully and they kept their composure really well and played a possession gave, which we’re really trying to encourage with them. They also competed really well …

“They kept their heads in it and stayed really solid.”

The Sweet Six scored one in each half.

The first came from Malorie Hanson, knocking out of mid air a bouncing pass up court from Aimee Parker.

The second came from captain Jamie McLeish on a pass from Christine Moser on a free kick.

Sweet Six goalkeeper Isabel Magsucang got the shutout.

Notwithstanding their first-place finish, the Sweet Six opened with a less remarkable start to the tournament, losing 8-6 to two-time defending champs Charly’s Angels in the round robin. The Angels went on to lose to the Wildcats in the semifinal.

“The core of these girls are the U18 Arctic Winter Games team, with a few additions of other girls they’ve played with over the years,” said Sarah.

“When we go to Arctic Winter Games (this March in Greenland) we’ll be playing futsal and that’s what we’ve been training, so that’s partly why we had a little bit of trouble in the first game, because it’s very different. But every game they got a little better and better and they finally got back into the groove of indoor soccer.”

The Sweet Six reached the final with a 5-3 win over Victorious Secret in the semifinal, with Parker and Moser notching goals.

Malorie and Moser led the team with five goals each in the tournament.

“Our scoring was spread out quite widely among the girls, which was nice,” said Sarah. “I was really happy with that.”

Emily Hoeff, captain of Victorious Secret, was named Most Sportsmanlike, Charly’s Angels captain Megan Lanigan got the Top Scorer award and Wildcats’ Lara Helene-St. Onge got the MVP nod.

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