Sharks swim to gold medals at water polo winter provincials

The Estevan Sharks took well to the pool last weekend at Saskatchewan Water Polo Association Winter Provincials in Saskatoon, with teams coming home with several medals.

The club won five medals overall, including three gold, by the atom girls Tiger Sharks, the atom boys Great White Sharks and the bantam boys. The cadet girls won silver and the bantam girls won bronze. Sharks coaches noted that all age divisions of the Sharks worked hard in the tournament.

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The atom division of the Sharks had four teams in the tournament. The younger team, the girls Bull Sharks, played four games but were defeated in round robin play.

“These up and coming athletes displayed excellent sportsmanship and a true love of the game this weekend,” said club spokeswoman Melanie Dzeryk.

The younger atom boys Sand Shark team played four tough matches and also weren’t able to win on the weekend. Youngest player Karson Mvula scored a goal in one of the games. This was the first tournament for five of the seven boys.  

The veteran atom boys Great White Sharks won their games in the round robin by scores of 16-0, 13-2, 12-2 and 11-1. Lucas Dzeryk scored six goals in the final game. The Great White Sharks had a rocky first period but came back in the gold medal game to win 11-8. Dierks Milford scored three and goaltender Noah Mvula played well for the gold medal win.

The Tiger Sharks girls team had three quick wins in their round robin, and a tie in their final round-robin game. Lily Knoll played well in net for the Sharks, and all of the players scored over the course of the weekend to lift the Sharks to gold. 

The bantam boys went 3-1 in their round robin, including a 7-5 win over the Weyburn/Saskatoon combined team on the strength of four Cameron Gillingham goals. They won other games 6-4 and 7-5 en route to the gold medal game, which they won 8-7 in a shootout. Lyndon Sauder stopped two of three shootout attempts in the win, the bantam boys’ first-ever gold medal in provincials.

The bantam girls won their final match 5-4 in the bronze medal game. Adah DeLeeuw scored two with Katryna Heleta, Breanna Sinclair and Alexandra Andrist scoring singles. Josie Andrist and Maria Baniulis played net all weekend for the team.

The cadet girls team won two and lost one in the tournament with younger players called up for the tournament. Their 6-0 loss to the Regina Armada in the gold medal game came after several penalties leading to penalty shots.

“It was the final game of the tournament and many of the girls had been playing in multiple games that day and they just ran out of gas,” said Melanie Dzeryk. “The score really does not tell of how well they played but they did come home with the silver medal.”

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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