It may not be first, but it’s close.
The Ptarmigan Inn Huskies recently returned from the 2011 First Air Recreational Hockey Championships in Yellowknife as champions of the Labbats “B” division.
The minor hockey team started their lead off early on April 22 against Carls Carpet Cleaning with a 3-1 win in game one. Goalie Sean Fisher gave a strong performance which earned him a Most Valuable Player honour.
In game two against the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship the Huskies boasted a 6-0 win, with Fisher boasting another success with a shut-out.
Game three was a 5-3 loss to the Talbots Leafs, a hard fought game wrought with penalty troubles, resulting in the hard loss. The Talbots scored four out of five goals on the power play.
Curtis Rowe earned an MVP for the game along with J.J. Hirst.
Finishing second in their first pool, the Huskies were set for a semi-final against the PSAV United Club.
The Huskies took an early 3-0 lead, but the team’s penalties were again their downfall.
The United Club team took a 6-5 lead late in the game, but with two minutes remaining, Jason Coakwell fired a slap-shot past the goalie, tying the game up.
An unproductive overtime, in which Fisher blocked three shots from the opposition, eventually lead to a shootout.
Rowe scored the winning goal that advanced the Huskies to the finals, and a chance to redeem their honour in a re-match with the Talbots Leafs.
Redeem themselves they did, sort of.
The Huskies played their hearts out, out-shot the Leafs during game one, but still only managed to tie both first and second games, 1-1 and 2-2, respectively.
Heading into third with two tied games, the Huskies enthusiasm and dominating plays were again, overshadowed by their penalties.
A last minute goal, pushed the Leafs into the lead late in the game.
But the Huskies brought it back, exploding into action with four goals in one minute and three seconds.
Hirst performed an outstanding breakaway goal to put the game out of reach to the Leafs.
Two Huskies team members, walked away with awards. Stephane Milette earned tournament MVP while Fisher walked away with goalie of the tournament honour.
The Huskies walked away as the 2011 champions of the Labbats “B” division, while the Fort Simpson Nahanni Inn Flyers earned the First Air “A” division championship title.