Finishing the regular season in first place puts pressure on a broomball team, but arriving as the two-time defending champ adds exponentially to the stress.
Though you’d never know it watching team Coyne.
The top-seed won its third straight Kopper King Cup in the final of the Yukon Broomball Association’s playoffs on Saturday in Takhini.
“It’s the same team we played with last year,” said Coyne captain Chris Saunders. “We moved the ball around really well, getting the ball to all the players. It was a good game for us as far as ball control went.”
Coyne toppled the Arctic Response Spider Monkeys 5-0 in the final, scoring four goals in the second period and one in the third.
After finishing the regular season in fifth in his team for points, Johnny TomTom came alive in the final, scoring a hat trick. Also scoring were Saunders and his son Justin Saunders, the league’s regular season points earner with 71 points.
“Johnny is one of the older guys in the league, getting a little long in the tooth,” said Saunders. “He’s got a lot of experience and old-age treachery in his bag of tricks.
“He’s a great stick-handler, great passer and he’s got a great shot from anywhere in the face-off circle. He can score even from three-feet off the red line.”
Undefeated up to the finals, the Spider Monkeys won their first encounter with Coyne 1-0 in the quarterfinal with the lone goal coming from winger Chris Nash, who led his team in the regular season with 46 points.
“In that game we kept them to the outside and shut them, let them shoot from the outside,” said Spider Monkeys goalie and captain Chris Sawyer. “This time they managed to get us crisscrossed and in the middle, that was the big difference.”
The Spider Monkeys went bananas in the semis, defeating Capital Towing 2-1 in overtime to reach the finals, with Nash getting the game winner in that game as well.
“He likes to dig in the corner – he’s got big heart,” said Sawyer. “He’s doing his job and we appreciate him coming out.”
In the battle for third, Capital Towing defeated the Whitehorse Sundogs 2-1. After two scoreless periods, Capital jumped out to a two-goal lead in the opening minutes of the third with goals from Stuart Campbell and Roch Nadon.
“We had the pressure on, playing shorthanded, and luck – you have to keep going to the net and shooting,” said Capital Towing captain Scott Smith. “Sooner or later you’re going to get your chance and you capitalize.
“George Starko, our goalie, came out big for us and kept us in some big games.”
Scoring Sundogs’ goal was Dave Pruden with four minutes left in the third period, finding the net on a big backhand through traffic.
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