The minor hockey tournament season is done in Yellowknife for another year but not without some exciting finishes.
The Chris Bergman Memorial Tournament wrapped up this past Sunday with the Timbits, initiation, atom and bantam divisions all in action. Only two of the divisions ended up having championship games – the Timbits and initiation divisions played a round-robin with everyone getting a medal after it was all done – and only one of them stayed in town.
Hak’s Autobody won the bantam division title thanks to a nerve-wracking 1-0 win over the DCL Jets in the final. Dylan Cummings scored midway through the second period and it held up as the winner as Gavin Craig shut the door on the Jets the rest of the way.
Joe Dragon coaches Hak’s to victory and said it was a great way to finish off a great tournament.
“It was a real competitive tournament, not a lot of blowouts, and that’s what you like to see at this level,” he said. “Sometimes, you get different teams at different levels and it’s no fun when there’s a lot of lopsided games so having everyone with a chance to win was real good.”
Craig ended up being the reason Hak’s won a good chunk of their games as he pitched three shutouts between the pipes.
“We had some close games and it was great to have Gavin play as well as he did,” said Dragon.
The final was a tight-knit contest with both teams having ample opportunities on the power-play throughout the game, he added.
“There were a few penalties on each side,” he said. “They ended up pulling their goalie late and it was a jam-packed ending but we held on. They beat us pretty good earlier in the season so this was a great win for us.”
Dragon also said it was a special one for Noah Thompson, who won the tournament named after his late grandfather.
“That was real nice to see,” he said.
The atom final was a non-Yellowknife affair as Fort Smith took on Inuvik for the gold medal. It was Fort Smith who ended up leaving with the crown thanks to a 5-4 win in a barn-burner, according to Kacee MacLean, president of the Yk Minor Hockey Association.
“It was back and forth all game and a lot of fun to watch,” she said.
MacLean said overall, the tournament was as good as it could have been with the highlight being the amount of community teams that attended.
“Having so many communities was great to see,” she said. “We had Fort Smith, Fort Providence, Inuvik, Hay River and Fort Good Hope and we were happy to have them come and see all the smiles.”