They didn’t pick up any wins, but the 2008 Huskies didn’t waste their time at the Canada Cup West tournament in Kelowna, B.C., May 12-14.
The Whitehorse spring rep team for players born in 2008, playing in their first tournament outside Yukon, narrowed the gap with every game they played.
From Game 1 to Game 5, the team’s play was like “night and day,” said coach Justin Halowaty.
“They improved through the five games and really grew as players,” he said. “Our plan was to take them to one tournament, to expose them to a higher level of hockey, which we definitely did. I think they all had a great time and would be interested in carrying on this program next spring.”
The Huskies opened with a 6-0 loss to the Kamloops Jr. Blazers. They then fell 8-2 to the B.C. Blackhawks from the Lower Mainland, 6-2 to the Bauer Legion from the Okanagan, and 5-2 to the Power Edge Pro from Spokane, Wash., to end round robin play.
“I was really impressed with how hard the kids worked,” said Halowaty of the Spokane game. “We were in the game until late in the third — it was 2-2.”
The Huskies finished with a Consolation game on May 14, losing 8-7 in overtime — while shorthanded — to Vancouver’s Jr. Steelers.
“They improved immensely over the five games, as you can see with the scores,” said Halowaty. “Their first game there was against a Kamloops team — that was probably their fourth tournament. They probably played 15 or 16 games, as had most of the other teams, who were in their third or fourth spring tournament as a group. So for our kids to step on the ice and play their first game together — we kept it under 10 goals, I guess you’d say.
“From there we improved with each game and finished with a really close game in the five/six game that we could have won.”
The 2008 Huskies are Cache Leonard, Oliver Halowaty, Kadyn O’Brien, Dylan Charlie, Brody Nash, Oslo Cunning, AJ Boyd, Treytin Frizzell, Nathan Nuenherz, Jaxson Long, Kenai Bryden, Jorge Quaile, Adam Ireland, Caeden Shaw, Sam Watson, Ray Stalder, with coaches Jason Cunning and Jordan Moore.
The 2008 Huskies isn’t the only Whitehorse spring team hitting tournaments this season. The 2006 Atom Huskies took bronze — playing up an age division — at the Whitehorse Peewee Invitational Hockey Tournament at the end of last month. The previous weekend they also won bronze in a tournament in Vancouver.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com