The Kelowna Storm 2019 tournament winners. Photo: Nathan Zinner

The Kelowna Storm 2019 tournament winners. Photo: Nathan Zinner

Kelowna youngsters grab tournament win in U.S.

The Kelowna Storm won the under-8 Shamrock Showdown Hockey Tournament in Spokane

Make it back-to-back gold medals for the Kelowna Storm at the Shamrock Showdown Hockey Tournament.

The team of passionate hockey players under the age of eight won first place in the tournament March 17, to make it two years in a row that the Kelowna team, named the Kelowna Crushers in 2018, had skated away with top of the podium honours.

READ MORE: Kelowna Crushers win Spokane tourney

“We had a very close group of kids that have a lot of fun on and off the ice together, which was one of the main reason they were able to bring home the gold again,” said coach Nathan Zinner.

The Storm, mostly five and six-year-olds, were the only Canadian team in their group of nine teams. They faced the older and bigger players from the Coeur D’Alene Hockey Academy from Idaho, U.S. in the tournament finals, and beat them 5-2.

“It was extra special for the parents and kids to pull of such a big win,” said Zinner.

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Five games in three days, mixed in with the hours of travel and time spent at the pool at the hotel made the Storm hungry to work hard and have fun.

Yannick Smith, Rohan Cordes, Thomas Mchaffie, Keenan Basran, Will Harding, Luke Walton, Mason Bains, Parker Zinner, Jackson Zinner, Kaeus Cordes, Kylie Villar, and Connor Bains rounded out the roster for the Storm.

Jackson Zinner, Mason Bains, and Thomas Mchaffie were part of the 2018 winning Kelowna team, and made a return to capture the tournament win.

Mason and Thomas were sick for some of the tournament, but refused to miss any games.

“As a coach, I couldn’t be and prouder of this group,” said Zinner.

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