More Than Just a Dynasty
By Adam Vickers, Sports Editor
For those who do not know, floorball is very similar to floor hockey with slight differences. Floorball is played with smaller sticks, a weighted version of a whiffle ball, and goalies with no padding. The sport was developed in Sweden and has grown quite popular throughout recent years, with the Scandinavian countries leading the way and other countries like the US and Canada slowly catching up to the sport. Like the rest of Canada, UNBC has adopted the sport as an intermural activity to be played every semester. For the last three semesters in particular, one team has dominated most of competition. “Playing the Chiefs is something that my body will never forget… ouch,” says competitor David Powe.
The team is called the Chiefs, named after the team in the movie Slap Shot, and their leader is Stewart Lambert. The Chiefs top players include Nick Desousa, Jordan Duncan, and Cam Braun; in the net is Jonathan Gibson. The Chiefs are the three time reigning champs of UNBC’s intermural floorball, forming our very own Dynasty at UNBC. The first year was the most difficult for the Chiefs, but their years of hockey experience and being a close group of guyshas its benefits. Some of the Chiefs have been playing together for nearly ten years, having started hockey together in pee wee. What makes the team unique is their ability to control possession of the ball and find a way to win games late. For the Chiefs, the first year resulted in losing only one game as well as coming from behind twice in playoffs to pull out the championship. The team has only excelled from going undefeated in three seasons. The team’s biggest adjustment in moving from the ice to the floor was dealing with the floor itself, the different type of balls used for floorball, and the number of players allowed on the floor at any given time. The floor is different than ice in the sense that you aren’t able to glide as if on ice, and, to adjust to the solid surface, you need to keep your feet moving while handling the puck, which can be difficult when trying to pull off a complex deke. The different ball type is also something they needed to deal with, because a whiffle ball is much larger than a puck and moves differently because it is on the ground rather than on ice. The number of players is another big adjustment; going from five players to four players puts pressure on everyone to play a better team defense while trying to produce offense, which makes possession a big key to success.
The Chiefs are about to enter playoffs with some stiff competition ahead of them, and their most recent win resulting in a tight game. Can the Chiefs continue their dynasty? We will see with the upcoming semester end playoffs. The Chiefs are playing for more than just wins this year, they are playing for their friend Matthew Matte. Matte passed away a week before the Chiefs finally achieved their dynasty, and this year the team got a new set of team jerseys with the initials MM on their sleeves to remember him by. The Chiefs have dedicated every win this year to Matte, and hope to carry his memory to another league championship this season. A team with guts, glory, and heart are hard to beat, and it will be a tall order to unseat the dynasty which has so much to play for.