He hitched a ride to Vernon in 2017 with fellow Castlegar product Jarod Reid to try out for the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers junior lacrosse team.
The Tigers liked what they saw in Kyle McIntosh, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound backstop.
Taking over the No. 1 duties in 2018, McIntosh led Vernon to a league-best 9-1-2 record and swept the South Okanagan Flames and Kamloops Venom in three straight on the way to the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoff championship.
On Sunday, McIntosh, 18, was named the league’s top goalie and its most valuable player.
“The top goalie award I kind of expected but the shocker was the MVP,” said McIntosh, back home in the Kootenays where he works construction in the off-season. “We had a great group of guys last year, we all jelled right from the start and we knew we could go far. I share the award with them.”
McIntosh finished the year with eight wins, a 6.00 goals against average (second only to emergency call-up Derek Pereboom, who suited up after a season-ending injury to Jordy Scherk and posted a 4.00 average). McIntosh led the league’s goalies with a .869 save percentage.
It’s the second year in a row a Tigers player has collected the league MVP award. Runner Brett Olson won it in 2017.
The Tigers dominated the awards portion of the TOJLL AGM, held at Kal Tire Place on the weekend.
Kaden Doughty was named rookie of the year. He led Vernon, and all players, in the post-season with 34 points (15 goals and 19 assists) after scoring 43 points (22-21-43) in the regular season.
Teammate Jordy Barr was the league’s top scorer. Barr won the scoring title with 35 goals, 17 assists for 52 points. He added 18-6-24 in six post-season contests.
Rookie bench boss Ryan Minchenko was named coach of the year. Brady Georget of Venom was named top defensive player.
Off the floor, Armstrong Shamrocks general manager Jeff Hanley was named the executive of the year. Leslie Landels of the Vernon Tigers, Francine Belanger of the Armstrong Shamrocks and Peter Friedel of the Venom shared the volunteer of the year award.
There will be changes at the top of the league executive.
The search is on for a new commissioner as Guy Charron of Kamloops has stepped down.
Vernon’s Roxane Seaton has stepped down as league administrative secretary.