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Grand Forks athletes finish on the podium at Special O Winter Games

The team went to Vernon last week with players from Castlegar.
Members of Grand Forks’ Special Olympics hockey team boarded the bus to the Special Olympics BC Winter Games on Thursday morning from the Save On parking lot. The team is joined by members from Castlegar, and local coach Dale Redford is headed with the team to Vernon to coach them through the games. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

The Grand Forks Special Olympics floor hockey team swept the provincial competition in Vernon over the weekend, taking home a silver medal from the Special Olympics BC Winter Games.

The team, dubbed the Kootenay Storm, was composed half and half of players from Grand Forks and Castlegar. The team played four games, winning three by large margins.

On Friday, the team played Delta and came out with a 10-3 win; later that night they played Port Alberni and won 16-7.

On Saturday morning the Storm played Vancouver and won 7-3; it was only later that day that the team fell to Quesnel 8-5.

Overall the team finished second in the “C” division, taking home the silver medal.

The team lineup was as follows: Mike Windsor in goal; Jason Pappas, defense; Glen Kunka, defense; Miles Gillett, forward; Charlie Kain, forward; Noah Trainer, forward; Brogan Belliveau, forward; Louie Mazzei, forward; Brock Owen, defense; Lucas Popoff, defense; Hannah Johnstone , defense; Matthew Welychko, forward; Sierra Oelke, forward; Chris Paulson, forward; Jay Melnik, forward; and Mike Bruce, defense.

Dale Redford was head coach, joined by Lou Wishloff and Ali Courtney as assistant coaches.

Dubbed the Kootenay Storm, the team of half Grand Forks, half Castlegar players won three out of four games to win a silver medal at the Special Olympics BC Winter Games, held in Vernon over the weekend. (Special Olympics BC-Grand Forks/Facebook)
The team had as much fun after the games as they did on the court. Pictured (back row left to right)Mike Bruce, Charlie Kain, Jason Pappas, Chris Paulson, Louie Mazzei, (front row left to right) Noah Trainer Brogan Belliveau. (Special Olympics BC-Grand Forks/Facebook)