Editor’s note: The Yellowknife Coyotes were one of two teams to make the trip to Regina for the World Broomball Championships that year. They were the only team that came home with a medal. Here’s a look back at how they did it.
The 2016 World Broomball Championships were lining up to be a big one for the NWT.
The NWT Rebels women’s team was back as the reigning and defending champions on the women’s side but they were unable to repeat. The Yk Ravens men’s team didn’t enter at all.
The Yellowknife Coyotes entered on the mixed side of things that year and became the saviour of the tournament for Yellowknife.
They would end up winning a bronze medal after beating the Regina Weezilz, 2-1, to do so.
NNSL Media talked with Aki Iwase, who played with the Coyotes, after their return home (“Coyotes sweep bronze from worldwide meet in Regina”, Yellowknifer, Nov. 11, 2016) and she said the result could have, and should have, been a bit better.
“We thought we could have done better,” she said. “All of the close games we lost, we could’ve won.”
Coyote’s were a busy bunch over the course of the tournament, which saw them play a total of 10 games over four days. The mixed division featured a total of 16 teams from Canada, Italy, Australia and Japan. Seven of those games were in the round-robin and Coyote’s ended up with a record of two wins, three losses and two ties. That meant a sixth place finish, not good enough to advance to play for the big prize.
Iwase said by day three of the round-robin, the wear and tear among the squad was starting to show.
“We had a lot of injuries, lots of pulled muscles,” she said. “All of us played more games than we normally do.”
They would advance to the Challenge Cup side of things, where they defeated Australia Green in the quarter-final, 10-0, to set up a semifinal against the Furnaceguys Kings from Saskatchewan, which ended in a 7-1 defeat, relegating them to the bronze medal game.
In that match-up, Regina opened the scoring but Gayle Draper equalized for Coyote’s shortly after that. Jeremy Ouillette scored the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning, goal before Ian Fowler iced it away late in the game.
Iwase said the medal was a great way to end what was a great tournament for the entire team.
“There were so many teams playing in the tournament and so many players,” she said. “They had six ice pads for the tournament and all of them were being used all tournament long. All of the games had great crowds and it was so inspiring for me.”
The Coyotes are up against the Yk Ravens, the second seeds in the competition by virtue of their men’s division title at the 2014 World Broomball Championships.