It was a busy weekend for the Hay River Rusty Blades as the Oldtimer’s Hockey Tournament saw 12 teams from across the NWT and Northern Alberta meet at the Ben Sivertz Arena for some friendly competition.
Hay River had the most representation, with four teams competing.
Along with the regularly scheduled tournament, there were two 50-plus exhibition games where Rusty Blades over 50 could strap on their skates and play.
In Sunday’s first final matchup Fort Smith beat out Hay River Red 9-4 in the C division final after an intense back and forth game.
But within all the competition, moments of true sportsmanship shone through, when two players held each other in what almost looked like an embrace before both were called out for a holding penalty.
“That was beautiful,” called out one of the players before the crowd burst out laughing.
The “B” final saw Hay River Black face off against Yellowknife’s Ron’s Auto in what started off as a slow-paced match.
But as the clock counted down, the intensity increased as players slid across the ice trying to maintain control of the puck.
Hay River scored their first goal just before the clock counted down to the 14 minute mark, and they quickly scored again with just under nine minutes left in the first half.
Yellowknife came back with 2:45 remaining, with an awkward goal on Hay River. Hay River scored again late in the second half, with just over 16 minutes remaining, solidifying their lead 3-1.
The local men almost had the chance to score again, with two back-to-back shots that couldn’t make it past the goaltender.
The first shot ricocheted off the post, and the second quick shot was deflected by a player who threw himself on the ice.
Hay River added one more goal to seal the deal, with a shot on an empty Yellowknife net in the final minute of the game changing the score to 4-1.
The A final saw Grande Prairie face off against Inuvik, with the southern team taking the win 3-1.