The Spectrum Security Bears had a long week with six games in six days.
Their efforts were not in vain.
The Bears captured the Kopper King Cup with a shutout win in the Yukon Broomball Association’s playoff final at the Takhini Broomball Arena on Saturday.
Spectrum Security, who placed first in the regular season, won the Cup with a 4-0 win over Capital Towing.
Saturday’s win also marked the third consecutive shutout for Bears goalie Darryl Cann.
“He’s been giving us great goaltending all year,” said Bears assistant captain and manager Shayne Fairman.
The Bears found their groove in the second period with three goals.
Captain Josh Hirsch scored with a backhander just 14 seconds in for the game-winner. Fairman then scored in a scramble in front of the Capital Towing net with 1:45 left.
Like a pair of bookends, Bears’ Chris Nash scored with just 14 seconds left on the clock.
“We have some very strong offensive players,” said Fairman. “Chris Nash and Josh Hirsch were really clicking in the playoffs.
“We had three lines that were really playing well together, so we just kept rolling three lines.”
The Bears lost their first playoff game in overtime to P&M Recycling on Monday, “So we had to play every single day this week,” said Fairman. “Fortunately we won on Friday night against the same team we just faced in the final by a 1-0 score. So we had the one game on Saturday, opposed to the two games they had to play.”
Capital Towing reached the final through the bottom of the draw, defeating Roadhouse 3-2 in the bronze game immediately before the final.
“We had a fairly good draw: we played every second night. But then we ran into a back-to-back here Saturday to get into the final,” said Capital Towing captain Scott Smith.
Smith had two goals against Roadhouse and teammate Daniele Remillard had one. Scoring for bronze-winning Roadhouse were Aedan Greer and Matt McDonald.
Capital Towing finished the regular season in second behind the Bears, so “it was only fitting that we got to the final and played them in the final,” said Smith. “Their numbers are quite a bit better than ours. My troupe put a pretty good effort in, but some injuries – that’s not an excuse – we ran into some personnel problems.
“We played today’s games with three women, (and) there’s two on at all times.”
Bears defenceman Lars Jessup put the final nail in the Capital Towing’s coffin in the third period of the final.
Jessup, who was named Rookie of the Year, scored with a backhander from 20 feet out on a pass from Shanna Epp.
“He’s super fit, and fast, and pushes up and gets back,” said Fairman. “He’s really a strong player and this is his first full year playing in the league.”
Capital Towing was not without its chances. The team had a five-minute power play from a high stick in the first period, but was unable to capitalize on it.
“We brought five new players into the league, so it’s a bit of a learning curve for us this year,” said Smith. “We have a bit of a transition with some other players deciding to do other things this year.”
The Bears, who lost in the league final last year, won the Bob Park Ice Breaker Broomball Tournament to start the season in November.
Next year promises to be a big one for the Yukon Broomball Association.
Not only will it be the league’s 30th annual season, the association is hoping to send one or two teams to the 2014 World Broomball Championships in Japan.
“These international tournaments are really drawing players from the league who want to go and play against Russia, Japan, U.S.A.,” said Smith. “It’s very competitive.
“There’s enough to send one (team), if not two. The interest is very high.”
The Yukon Brewing Lead Dawgs team, which included Hirsch and Nash, won a bronze at the 2010 World Broomball Championships in Austria.
The Yukon was represented by two Lead Dawg teams in the 2008 world championship.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org