The Hay River Huskies had a fun time at this past weekend’s peewee tournament, despite losing 4-3 in the semi-finals to the Denton’ Cho Eagles, who went on to take top spot.
“It was pretty good,” said Trey Beck. “Our team got together pretty good and we got more pumped for the last game.”
The Huskies battled the McKay Mavericks, a team from Yellowknife, for the bronze medal and trounced them 4-0.
But according to the Hay River players, it was the semi-final against the Eagles, also from Yellowknife, that was the best game of the tournament.
“We were so happy when we tied it up in the semi-final,” said Zack Horton. “The crowd went nuts, I mean the arena just exploded. Then we scored and were leading, and it was just crazy.”
Tarek Chicot scored two goals over the course of the tournament and looks forward to his next opportunity to play against teams from out of town.
“I think we’re good as a team at scoring, and it was fun,” he said.
Beck, however, said there is room for improvement. He said, during the first games the team played in the tournament, they were a bit complacent and were just keeping up with the other team. Instead, he would like to see the team’s energy stay high like it was in the semi-finals.
Peewee coach Mark Horton agreed, saying the team can be a bit slow coming out of the gate, but was very pleased with how they played in the tournament overall.
“All of us coaches are very proud of the effort the team put out this weekend,” he said. “We know they gave 100 per cent and then some.”
Horton said the tournament was a great success in part because of the even level of competition across the board. He said it gave all the kids an opportunity to play at their best and most games were evenly matched.
“It could have gone either way,” he said of the semi-final. “It was just a matter of a few bounces going their way.”
Organizer Connie Belanger said she was impressed by the level of competition in the tournament, noting that even when a team was outmatched, there was still fair play.
“Most games were so close, and even when they weren’t, the play was clean and the kids really had good sportsmanship,” she said.
Hay River hosted four teams, three from Yellowknife and one from Fort Smith, for the weekend, with each team playing at least four games. The finalists ended up playing six times in two days.
Belanger said it’s always a pleasure to have teams in from out of town and that the peewee group of parents and volunteers always puts on a potluck for the visitors.
“Hay River is all about volunteers,” she said. “The peewee group is just incredible and it’s thanks to their hard efforts that this tournament was a huge success.”