It was a battle between two Hay River teams during the Rec Hockey League’s annual tournament this year.
Eleven teams from across the Northwest Territories and Alberta met on the ice at the Ben Sivertz Arena for three days of highly competitive hockey.
Friday evening saw three games played after the teams had arrived and Saturday saw a full day chalk full of rec league hockey.
Sunday afternoon’s ‘B’ Division final came down to an intense game between Yelllowknife’s Kingland Slades and the Hay River Huskies.
Yellowknife took the title with a final score of 4-3, after an intense third period saw three goals scored from a previously tied 2-all game.
The ‘A’ Division final, between the Hay River Shockers and the Hay River Panthers, was a match up that saw tensions flaring on both ends of the ice.
The Shockers took the lead early on in the first period, with a goal by Steve McKenna assisted by Stephen Rosendahl with 12:23 left in the first period.
The Panthers quickly retaliated, with Tod Ashton scoring an unassisted goal with 10:35 remaining.
Stephan Millette reacted quickly for the Shockers bringing the score up to 2-1 only a minute and a half later, and Travis Gallant brought it back to equal ground for the Panthers with a goal with 8:18 remaining in the first period.
With only two minutes left, Millette almost managed to pass the puck by Panthers goalie Sheldon Bolt but was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 2-2 at the end of the first period.
Tensions flared at the start of the second as Scott Bolt hit the ground after a hard hit by Rodney Beck.
Bolt was back on the ice by the 15 minute mark, and returned to score a goal with 13:21 to go.
J.J. Hirst returned fire on Shockers goalie Sean Fisher with 6:33 remaining, tying up the game at 3-3.
As the third period picked up speed the momentum of the game changed.
Tony Helmer scored another goal for the Shockers only three and a half minutes into the third, regaining the lead for the younger team.
Millette scored a shorthanded goal as assisted by Joey Hiebert three minutes later, distancing the Shockers from the Panthers as the clock counted down.
Millette earned a hat trick by scoring the sixth and final goal for the Shockers, solidifying the win with only six minutes left in the game.
“It went good,” said Curtis Rowe, organizer of the tournament.
But that wasn’t to say the tournament went on without its fair share of problems.
“The ferry to Providence went out so we had one team from Yellowknife and one from Fort Providence that couldn’t make it in,” said Rowe.
“And one Yellowknife team chartered a flight to get out here and play.”
“Obviously people really wanted to play. They chartered flights out here so we must have done something right.”
This was the first major tournament of the season for the men’s recreational hockey league.