The Capital Towing Jets might not be the fastest team or the most skilled, but a cohesive effort put them on top over the weekend.
The Jets bagged their first-ever playoff title with a shutout win over the 202 Saloon Shooters in the Yukon Broomball Association’s league final at the Takhini Broomball Arena on Saturday.
“We’re not All Stars, but we support each other on the ice and off, and it’s a really good fun group,” said Jets captain Scott Smith.
Few would have predicted those two teams in the final. The Jets placed fifth in the league’s regular season and the Shooters fourth. Last year’s two finalist teams ended up playing for bronze and the top team in the regular season – the Spectrum Security Bears – didn’t even get a shot at a medal.
“It’s been low-scoring affairs all playoffs,” said Smith. “There have been a number of teams quite short on players with travel, family and holidays … Capital was no different. We started the playoffs with one spare on the bench and then people started coming back from holidays and travel, etcetera.
“Our team got stronger as the playoffs went on, in numbers, if nothing else.”
The Jets took the title with a 2-0 win in the final. Gabriel Nadon and Francois Lafortune both scored – and assisted each other’s goals.
“Gab said to me before we started, ‘I don’t want to play with anyone else, they confuse me.’ So we played together and we really clicked,” said Lafortune.
Lafortune scored in the first period on a breakaway with a pass from Nadon. Lafortune then returned the favour in the third period, lobbing a pass over the 202 defenders to Nadon, who made it 2-0 with 1:49 left in regulation.
“He’s a young guy – 16 years old – up and coming in the league,” said Smith of Nadon. “He’s been waiting to play for years because both his mom and dad play and his brother played until he went to university. He’s been helping out, time keeping, waiting patiently until he’s of age to play. So he’s having a lot of fun.”
Jets goalie Brayden Hunt was a wall for his team with a shutout in the final and semi. It’s a good thing he has a nice boss.
“He did a great job. He took time off work for us today … He works at Canadian Tire and he was able to get time off – an hour and a half – to come play in the final game,” said Smith.
The Jets reached the final with a 1-0 win over defending champs Nacho Nyak Dun Development Corporation.
Nachos captain Chris Saunders felt the ice conditions, which were wet in the warm temperatures, might have worked in the Jets’ favour.
“A lot of the games have been 1-0 because of the ice,” said Saunders.
“The conditions are a little wet and slow – limited scoring chances.”
“It’s better for the old guys … They’re an older, experienced team and I figured they’d have the edge because they know how to play on this stuff. They slow it down and move the ball around.”
The Nachos took the bronze with a 2-0 win over Ridge Pub, who they defeated in last year’s playoff final. Justin Saunders scored both goals.
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