The last we heard from the Yukon Lead Dawgs they were on their way to Blaine, Minnesota to take part in the 2018 Broomball World Championships. The Lead Dawgs are competing in the mixed-team tournament in this bi-annual event.
The team’s first two games took place on Tuesday. The games are 36-minutes long with two 18-minute halves. In their first game of the day, the Lead Dawgs played Team Canada-Broomshak, losing 4-0.
Head coach Scott Smith believes the team faired alright, and that there is positive lessons to be found, even in the defeat.
“We had a tough go in the beginning,” said Smith. “Broomshak is an elite polished team who played well together. We battled and tested them and got a few shots. We didn’t get blown out, which could have happened.
“The team might have been gripping the stick a little tight, afraid to make mistakes because teams can capitalize. But we are gaining experience and I’m optimistic we can improve.”
In their second game Tuesday the team played the Australia Gold - Dingoes, falling short 2-1.
“This was a far better game for us,” said Smith. “They notched two on us before we got one back in the second half. We had some good pressure but just couldn’t get complete control of the offensive zone.”
Wednesday saw the team playing two more games. They lost one to Regal Beagle (USA) 2-0. Their other game they lost 4-3 to the Alkatchetario Rage (Can).
“The game against Alkatchetario was a good game,” said Smith. “The team got down early 3-1 but battled back in the second to tie it at three. Unfortunately they got one late. What I did like is that the team showed backbone and strength fighting back into the game.”
On Thursday the team won their first game defeating the Japan Ice Ducks 2-1.
“The team is feeling very positive about the win,” said Smith. “Japan was a feisty team, determined in their effort, there was some physical play but the team bared through it.”
The team will play the Australia Green - Dingoes in a matchup of the fourth and fifth place teams. Depending on how the team does in this game will determine who they play next.
As his team heads into the playoffs Smith believes the team is starting to gel nicely for a team that hasn’t played together in a competition of this caliber. He is also happy with the team’s demeanour off the ice, and is thankful to the support back home.
“Thank you to our sponsors: Yukon Brewing, Yukon Lotteries and Yukon Broomball Association(YBA), for allowing us to represent the Yukon on an international stage,” said Smith. “Before the Worlds the players signed a code of conduct saying they would represent the Yukon, the YBA and Canada on and off the ice. My hope is that this will draw more people in the Yukon to the sport.”