Na­tional broom­ball gold for Lau­zon

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens -

BY SEAN BRAY Sports Edi­tor At just 18 years of age, Josée Lau­zon has a na­tional se­nior broom­ball gold to her name, as her team, the East­ern On­tario-based Vipers won the Cana­dian ti­tle, in Corn­wall, over the de­fend­ing cham­pion East­ern Rebels.

As Lau­zon de­scribes it, the ladies were in tough against the Rebels, trail­ing 2-0 mid­way through the sec­ond pe­riod (broom­ball games have just two pe­ri­ods).

Fi­nally, she says, the Vipers found the tar­get to get on the score­board, and there was hope: “we can do this.”

Still be­hind late, the Vipers pulled their goal­tender in favour of an ad­di­tional at­tacker, and it worked, as they tied the con­test with four sec­onds left on the clock.

In over­time, on the sec­ond suc­ces­sive power play for the Vipers, they scored, claim­ing gold on a 3-2 de­ci­sion.

For Lau­zon, who will grad­u­ate this spring from École sec­ondaire catholique le Re­lais, life is pretty much all about broom­ball.

She caught the bug when she was young, watch­ing her fa­ther and older brother play the game. She’s played com­pet­i­tively since the age of 13, com­pet­ing at nu­mer­ous na­tional tour­na­ments at the ju­ve­nile (U20 level).

In fact, ear­lier this month, Lau­zon was with her ju­ve­nile team, the East­ern Thun­der, which won B-side sil­ver at na­tion­als, in Rivière-duLoup.

The largely young team found it­self in a tough pool with the best squads in the coun­try, fin­ish­ing in a three-way tie for sec­ond. A se­ries of mini games was used to break the dead­lock, pushing the Thun­der to third place and into the B gold game, where the ladies fell to a squad from Saskatchew­an.

De­spite the loss, Lau­zon says the play­ers learned from the ex­pe­ri­ence and will be bet­ter pre­pared next year, aim­ing to have an even strong show­ing at na­tion­als, which will be held in Ot­tawa.

As for her play with the Vipers, she was one of two ju­ve­nile-aged play­ers (and the only high schooler) called up to join the women, a num­ber of whom are sev­eral years her se­nior and with fam­i­lies.

The Vipers were one of three On­tario teams com­pet­ing in the Elite Ladies divi­sion at se­nior na­tion­als, which were held April 1013, in Corn­wall.

The East­ern Rebels earned their berth as de­fend­ing champs (in fact they won the ti­tle each of the last two years), while OSS was there as Team On­tario. The Vipers got a spot as tour­na­ment host.

In the round robin, the Rebels topped the field with a 6-1 record, fol­lowed by the Vipers (5-2), OSS (4-3), the Huskies from Que­bec (3-3), the Dy­na­mite from Que­bec (2-5), and Saskatchew­an’s Odessa Storm (0-6).

Janessa By­ers, of the Vipers, led over­all with 6 goals, while goal­tender Cashelle Bald­win had three shutouts, fin­ish­ing in a three-way tie in this cat­e­gory. She also had the sec­ond best goals against av­er­age, at 1.00.

Other Vipers team mem­bers are Brit­tany Nor­man, Jes­sica Nash, Alex Roach, Chelsea San­ders, Jas­mine Na­m­a­goose, Courtney MacDonald, Sara-Lee Py­nen­burg, Blaire Bur­nett (who has a sis­ter on the Rebels ros­ter), Melissa Nor­man, Jus­tine Hughes (sis­ter of By­ers), Jas­mine Le­clerc, Se­lena Berg­eron, Lau­ren Robert­son, Caro­line Ranger, Veronique Cayer, Rox­anne Lau­zon (no re­la­tion), and Car­lee Coburn.

Team staff is Brian Rom­bough (head coach), Leah Billing­ham (as­sis­tant coach), and Barry Billing­ham (trainer).

On a per­son level, one of the highlights for Lau­zon was the lo­ca­tion of the tour­na­ment, as it al­lowed for a slew of fam­ily mem­bers to at­tend, join­ing the crowd in the jam-packed stands.

The vic­tory earns the Vipers the ti­tle of Team Canada, though the world tour­na­ment only takes place ev­ery sec­ond year, so this

NEXT DEAD­LINE: Mon­day, April 29, noon

sea­son is now over.

Their tri­umph this year, though, does earn the ladies an au­to­matic berth at the 2020 na­tion­als, which be held in Saskatchew­an.

Lau­zon will be at­tend­ing St. Lawrence Col­lege this fall, study­ing in the RPN (nurs­ing) pro­gram.

Of course, she will also con­tinue to play broom­ball too. More im­me­di­ately, she plans to keep in top form by par­tic­i­pat­ing in Alexan­dria’s ladies ball hockey league and rid­ing her new dirt bike.

HIGH­LANDERS

Is­land Park’s soccer fields are slowly re­cov­er­ing from the long win­ter.

JOSÉE LAU­ZON

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