Pardon the Delta Islanders if they still are trying to catch their breath when they step onto the floor this afternoon at the provincial junior "B" lacrosse championships.
The Islanders are in Victoria for the four-team tournament just 72 hours after a thrilling final series win over the Coquitlam Adanacs to earn their first West Coast Junior Lacrosse League title in recent memory. Jesse Rumeo's sudden death goal 23 seconds into double overtime gave the Islanders an 11-10 win in the deciding game of the best-ofthree affair, played Tuesday at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
The result came after the Adanacs had pushed the series to the limit thanks to a 9-8 victory one night earlier. Delta had opened the finals Sunday with an 8-7 win in Coquitlam.
The two rivals were the class of the regular season with the Islanders (18-1-1) finishing in first place. The locals then took out Langley in the opening round, before surviving a three game test against Port Moody to earn a date with the Adanacs.
"In all my years as a player and a coach, this was as good as it gets," said Islanders bench boss Dave Haller. "It was good honest lacrosse with none of the crap you typically see.
"This is a group of kids who are committed (to the game) and are in good shape. Playing three very tough games in as many nights meant conditioning was a factor in the outcome. Now we have to get right back on the horse again."
The provincials take place at Bear Mountain Arena where Delta opens play today with games against Kamloops (12: 30 p.m.) and host Westshore (5: 30 p.m.). The locals will conclude round-robin play on Saturday against Saanich, with the medal games slated for Sunday.
"All are quality ball clubs," added Haller. "We have heard Kamloops have stacked their team since they are going to the (nationals) already. I know these boys will be giving everything they got."