The All Out Capitals had their stamina tested last weekend.
The Whitehorse-based elite hockey club was playing with a skeleton crew at the Whistler International All-Star Hockey Tournament in the 1999 Division.
Despite the gaps on their bench, the Capitals pulled off a fourth-place finish at the high-calibre summer tournament.
“I think the bottom line is that we were pretty short-benched,” said Capitals assistant coach Martin Lawrie. “We had seven forwards and four defence and we basically didn’t have gas to play; we ran out.”
The Capitals opened the tournament with three wins, downing the San Jose Junior Sharks 9-2, the Ravens Red 6-1 and the Valley Selects 4-2.
They then lost 6-4 to the eventual gold medal winners, the Honey Badgers. Those four goals by the Capitals were the only ones scored against the Badgers in the entire tournament.
With tired legs under all the Cap players, the team was then shutout by the Valley Selects in the bronze medal game.
On the Capitals, along with some Outside players the team picked up, were Kaine Comin (five goals, four assists), Matthew Butler (one assist), Luk Jirousek (two goals, three assists), Niall Lawrie (three assists), Gavin Lawrie (three goals, two assists), and Matthew Braga (two goals, two assists).
All of the Yukon players were members of the Whitehorse Peewee Mustangs A team last season.
Fourth place “is very good,” said Martin. “This is a very high-calibre tournament. They did very well.
“Both (head coach) Jake Jirousek and I are really proud of the effort they put out. … To make the medal round is very impressive.”
Before the 1999 Division, four players from last season’s Peewee Mustangs played on two teams in the 2000 Division.
Ethan Vanderkley and Cruz Goodman played for the Alberta AAA Thunder while Jirousek and Niall Lawrie played for the Cougar Selects, a club team that draws players from numerous provinces – and in this case, a territory, too.
Though the Thunder failed to pick up a win, the Cougars won five straight games en route to winning silver.
The Peewee A Mustangs had the best finish of any Whitehorse representative team at the B.C. Hockey Provincial Championships in March. They went 3-2-1 to snag fourth at the Tier 3 tournament in Quesnel, B.C.
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