The final game of the tournament pitting Hay River Blue against White was delayed over an hour due to a sound judgement call that the Huskies should be permitted to watch the Canadian team win gold on their own ice. Half-dressed Huskies sat breathlessly in front of the dressing room television in the final minutes of the overtime period.
The second Sidney Crosby scored that winning goal, the dressing room interrupted into a blur of screaming Peewees, and seconds later they were showing the same vigor on the ice.
Nicholas Stainbrook, one of the Peewees, said watching the game helped him in his game.
“When I was watching I was looking at the ways they move with the puck,” he said.
His teammate Skyler Constant agreed, “I played better after watching that.”
Teams came from Fort Vermillion, Fort Smith, and Yellowknife for the Peewees tournament. Hay River White played Fort Vermillion in the semi-final game which ended in Hay River’s favour after an overtime period. That brought Hay River against itself for the final game.
Hay River Blue took a one-point lead for the third period, guarding their victory. In a final attempt to even the score, White pulled its goalie in the last minutes of the game. Blue took advantage of the open net, scoring a goal at the moment the buzzer rang.
“It was a close game,” said coach Doug Bryshun. He said the Peewees are really just one big team that the coaches divide differently for each tournament.
“When we split up the players we try to make two strong teams. We make it as fair as possible. That’s why if one team is missing one player, it can make a huge difference.”
He notes that the White team won the final game in Yellowknife two weeks ago, illustrating that hard work as well as the luck of the draw determine the winning team.
Bryshun said watching the gold medal game helped the Huskies play their best.
“They were all pretty inspired,” he said. “It feels pretty good to get to play after watching something like that. To see a gold medal won on home ice is… well this may be the last time in their lives they get to experience that.”