Back on the ice
Bishop’s Falls wins second straight provincial title
In an intense men’s provincial championship broomball clash, Bishop’s Falls edged rival Corner Brook 2-1 in overtime to claim its second consecutive provincial title.
Tyler Tremblett scored a power-play goal while a Corner Brook player was in the box for a heavily disputed boarding penalty.
Despite their arguments, the call stood and Bishop’s Falls made good on the three-on-two overtime power play to claim victory on home ice.
Assistant captain and longtime broomball competitor Gary Pardy couldn’t have been happier for his team, adding capturing the title on home ice was icing on the cake.
“There’s nothing better when you can do it at home in front of a crowd like we had here today,” said Pardy. “We had a great crowd for today’s game, and there were more people here than we’ve ever seen for a game of broomball.
“Even though the sport is losing numbers overall, here in Bishop’s, it’s still a hub for broomball in the province along with Corner Brook and Happy ValleyGoose Bay.
“To do this in front of a group of broomball supporters, as well as family and friends, you couldn’t ask for anything better than this.”
The men’s side had three competing teams — Bishop’s Falls, Happy ValleyGoose Bay and Corner Brook, while the women’s side saw four— Central, Western, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Twin Towns.
Despite only seeing three teams the competition was strong, especially in an intense final. Pardy said that’s usually the case.
“Broomball is a completely different game to play than it is to watch. Between us and Corner Brook, it’s like that every year,” said Pardy. “It’s us and them, it’s back and forth, and I’ve been involved with this sport for about 17 years, and Corner Brook dominated us for years. We’ve had their number for a few years now, so the tide has turned a little bit. It’s always gritty, it’s always rough and it seems like we always go into overtime. This is the best broomball you’re going to see in Atlantic Canada.”
In overtime, Bishop’s Falls took its time organizing the play before Tremblett eventually scored. When asked if the team worked on their three-on-two power plays, Pardy said it came down to the fact the players on the team know each other so well.
“When it comes to preparation, a lot of the core members of our team have been playing together for 10-12 years,” he said. “We’ve been to nationals and a lot of guys have played at the world tournament, so we’ve been constantly preparing over time.”
Although the female contingent from central didn’t see the same success as their male counterparts, just having a presence at provincials was reason enough to celebrate.
Leanna Paul took the lead in forming the team and her efforts resulted, in part, in her receiving the coveted Golden Heart Award at the end of the provincial event.
It wasn’t an easy task forming the team, as it consists of players from across this large region. Getting practice time was an issue, and thankfully for the women, the Bishop’s Falls men’s team invited them out to practice with them.
Despite the geographical challenges, the women competed in Bishop’s Falls over the weekend, and after losing in the semis to the eventual champs from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, left the tournament feeling determined to grow the sport even more and to continue having fun.
“The first goal we had was to have fun, and our second goal was to play our hardest,” said Paul. “We all started playing broomball in Bishop’s Falls and Botwood, and then everyone moved away. We have girls from everywhere around central, and we all love to play the game.”
A second women’s team from Central had also planned to compete at provincials, but plans fell through in the end. However, if members of the other planned Central team that had to back out continue to play, that’ll only add to the numbers of women that enjoy playing the sport of broomball, which is exactly what Paul and her teammates want to see.
Members of the Bishop’s Falls men’s broomball team that captured the provincial title on Saturday include: (back row, from left) assistant coach Kirk McDonald, Graham Edison, Luc Smith, Jon Snow, Jordan Drover, Scott Mills, Hunter Budgell, Keith Decker, Gary Pardy, coach Gordie Penney; (middle row, from left) Cody Taylor, Ronnie Penney, Stephen Drover; (front row, from left) Steven Paul, Jeremy Drover, Jordan Penton, Lucas Temple, Tyler Tremblett, Jordan Penney and Mike Bursey. Missing from photo are Keith Cantwell, Chad Barnes and trainer Gary Pardy Sr.
Leanna Paul of Team Central, right, battles Tina Combden of Happy Valley-Goose Bay during their semifinal contest on Saturday.