In terms of missing a day of school, everyone was a winner.
However, in terms of taking first in the third annual Whitehorse Elementary Hockey Tournament, a combined team of players from Hidden Valley Elementary and Ecole Emilie Tremblay were the ultimate winners, defeating the Whitehorse Elementary Wolves 2-1 in the final.
The success of the combined team, who finished second in last year’s tournament, marks the first tournament win—in any team sport—for Tremblay.
“It’s a milestone for us,” said Tremblay coach Dan Girouard. “They’ll be coming to school with big grins on their faces tomorrow and bragging rights for a couple of weeks. Hopefully this will encourage more kids to get involved next year.”
Going into the second of two 14-minute periods tied 1-1, Hidden Valley’s Dominic Korn ripped the game-winner after tearing into the Wolves’ end and finding the five-hole of goalie Felix Russell.
“They phoned me up and said there’s a new kid in your class and he’s an athlete—I coach everything at my school—so the first thing I asked was how tall is he because it’s basketball season,” said Hidden Valley coach Peter Harms, with a laugh, speaking of Korn, who’s new to the school. “This kid showed up and, Holy Moly, can this kid play hockey!”
For most of the game the combined team was pushed on its heels, being out-shot in both periods, including a 9-2 shot count in the second.
“Their goalie stood on his head in the final game,” said Wolves defenceman Craig Berube, of the combined team’s goalie, Joe Wallingham.
Ryan Chippett opened the scoring just a minute into the game to give the combined team the lead. However, the Wolves tied it up less than two minutes later on with a goal by Henry Beairisto.
The combined team lost only one game going into the finals, getting handed a 3-0 shutout by the Wolves.
The win by a combined team left the coaches with one last call to make: who gets the banner? It was decided that Hidden Valley would have another made for their rafters.
“I’m getting this one because Peter has enough at his school,” said Girouard.
“Our school has fared pretty well in individual sports, but in team sports we’ve never had enough people to (compete). But we’re starting to get the numbers.”
Wolverines to bronze
Just as it looked like a shoot-out was coming down the pike, Christ the King Wolverines’ Adam Waddington took a pass out of the corner, failed on his first shot but tapped in his rebound with three seconds left to lead his team to a bronze with a 5-4 win over Elijah Smith’s Eagles (No. 1 team).
“We were already talking about who would be our shooters in a shoot-out,” said Eagles coach Gordon Puddister. “Each team had their chances and they had the last chance.”
The goal marked Waddington’s fourth of the game.
“He’s a hockey nut—he loves his hockey and it showed today,” said Wolverines coach Ron Billingsby. “He had like nine goals throughout the tournament.”
The game was a seesaw contest, with the Eagles matching each goal by the Wolverines, running up the scoreboard in unison.
“It was a back-and-forth game and Elijah Smith (1) were tired,” said Billingsby. “They played four games in a row I think, and they had a short bench. They played a good game.”
Cole Morris led the charge for the Eagles, with his team’s first and third goal. Tyson Hope and Marcus McLeod contributed one a piece.
Waddington’s cousin, Josh Harlow, scored the Wolverines’ second goal.
“They’re a great team, a good bunch of kids and they had a great time—and that’s the only thing we wanted them to do,” said Billingsby. “We got a bonus medal, which is great.”
Getting special mention from his coaches was Eagles goalie Trevor Harris, who had a busy day.
“He also played for the other (Elijah Smith) team,” said Puddister. “So he had a full afternoon—he’s been busy.”
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