NWT broomball team wins relegation bronze at worlds

Members of the Yellowknife Coyotes and NWT Rebels pose together at the 2016 World Broomball Championships.
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Some of the territory’s best broomball players have returned to Yellowknife with some hardware after competing at this year’s world championships in Regina, Sask.

Members of the NWT Rebels pose with television personality Rick Mercer.
Members of the NWT Rebels pose with television personality Rick Mercer.

Two teams representing the city competed in last week’s tournament, which featured squads from all over the world.

Teams representing Yellowknife have a solid track record in international play of late, having won at the highest level on two occasions in the last two years.

Back in 2014, male and female teams representing the city both won gold at the 2014 World Broomball Championships in Japan.

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This year, the defending champion NWT Rebels represented the city in the women’s division while the Yellowknife Coyotes competed in the mixed division.

For the Coyotes, the goal was to win at least two games in Regina after going winless at this year’s nationals in Owen Sound, Ont.

In the end, the team far exceeded those expectations, posting a record of four wins, four losses and two ties en route to a bronze medal in the tournament’s Challenge Cup (essentially a relegation round).

RELATED: Winning world titles will help fight decline of broomball in the NWT

The Coyotes also posted a goal differential of +4 in Regina after going -14 during nationals.

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“We changed our lines [to score early] and it worked out,” said Coyotes defenceman Aki Iwase following her team’s 3-1 win over the Regina Weezilz in Friday’s bronze medal showdown.

On the women’s side, nothing came easy for the reigning gold medalists.

The NWT Rebels finished near the bottom of their division with a record of 3-4-0 and a goal differential of -8.

Despite her team’s struggles, Rebels forward Tara-Lynn Andrew was named a tournament All-Star. Coyotes defenceman Alex Debogorski also received an All-Star nod.

The 2018 World Broomball Championships will be played in Minnesota.

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