Rankin Inlet (Team Canadrill) defeated Ottawa 5-4 in a dramatic shootout to claim the A Division of the 2018 Toonik Tyme senior men’s hockey championship in Iqaluit this past month.
It was Canadrill’s third-straight Toonik Tyme championship.
There were five teams in the A Division of this year’s event and 10 teams in the B Division.
Two teams from Iqaluit and one from Kuujjuaq, Que., rounded out the A Division. Rankin eliminated Iqaluit’s QC Hunters in their semifinal.
Canadrill forward David Clark said the hockey was fantastic in this year’s tournament and having five strong teams in one division made for very close games that were a lot of fun to play.
“The games were highly competitive in both the A Division and the B Division,” said Clark. “We went through the tournament undefeated, but we had a lot of very close games.”
“Early in the round-robin we handled the Kuujjuaq team quite easily, but then they came back and beat the two Iqaluit teams, so all the games in our division were really close except for maybe one or two.”
Canadrill goaltender Jomar Cruz had an excellent tournament in Iqaluit, said Clark.
The team also had timely scoring during the weekend, especially when they really needed a big goal.
“All in all it was a really good team effort, but our goaltender really came-up big for us over there,” said Clark. “And, I must admit, it felt good to go over there and win their tournament for a third-straight time. Hopefully, next year, we’ll be going for four in a row.”
Clark said the Rankin players keep coming back to the Toonik Tyme tournament because it’s a great way to end the hockey season.
He has a lot of family and friends in Iqaluit and he always looks forward to seeing them during the tournament, he said.
“We’d like to see Iqaluit start coming back to the Rankin tourney (which is now the Terence Tootoo Memorial) of course, because the community gets so pumped over the Iqaluit versus Rankin rivalry,” he said. “I really don’t know if we’ll see Iqaluit back at the Rankin tournament – and it would be nice if they came – but, at this point in my career, I’m not too worried about what other people are doing or not doing.”