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Thursday, August 11, 2022
Kings  of the  floor: Undefeated all season, NOTL’s U22 Thunderhawks win provincial championship
Niagara Thunderhawks U22  players and coaches celebrate their Ontario championship win on Thursday. (Supplied)
Niagara Thunderhawks U22 players and coaches celebrate their Ontario championship win on Thursday. (Supplied)

The Niagara Thunderhawks U22 team capped an incredible season-long run Thursday,  winning the Ontario box lacrosse “A” division championship in Whitby.

The Thunderhawks, coached by Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Andy Boldt, remained undefeated, not losing a game through the regular season, tournament play or in the provincial championship.

Given that barely eight months ago it looked like lack of player interest and low membership would lead to the demise of the entire Thunderhawks organization, the U22 squad’s achievement is all the more remarkable.

Coach Boldt was proud of what the team did.

“It was a huge accomplishment for the team to go a full season being undefeated. Not just at the U22 level, but any level from paperweight to the National Lacrosse League. Not just lacrosse but any sport,” he told The Lake Report.

“Through their dedication and commitment to each other they were able to persevere at the provincials with two come-from-behind wins to take the ‘A’ championship,” he said. 

“It was a great way for the six players aging out of minor lacrosse to finish their careers and for the team’s six rookies to experience what is required to win a championship.” 

In more than 20 games, the only blemish on their record was a 4-4 tie with the Gloucester Griffins in the first game of the provincial tournament’s round-robin.

But Niagara got its revenge in the championship final, where the Thunderhawks faced  Gloucester again but this time ended it with a decisive 4-1 gold medal win.

Besides Boldt, the coaching staff includes assistant B.J. Trush and  trainer Dan Willms.

The championship team players are: Christian Blaylock, Keaton Boldt, Tanyon Davis, Liam Dietsch, Joseph Fragnito, Liam Gatt, Trent Hunter, Jack Marotta, Jack Muraca, Aedan O’Gorman, Colby Ostromecki, Hunter Ostromecki, Noah Ostromecki, Jack Parker, Nolan Price, Matthew VandeLaar, Aaron Wilson, Brett Wilson, Kristopher Wilson, Nathan Wilson, Sam  VanderZalm, Jordan Wiens and Ethan Williams.

See next week’s edition of The Lake Report and for more.