It was a tough ending to the Arctic Winter Games for the Yukon’s bantam hockey team.
Playing Team Alaska for the bronze medal, the Yukon squad dropped a 5-1 lead on the way to a 6-5 loss at the Canada games Centre on Friday.
“We got into some penalty trouble, they had some power play goals,” said Yukon co-head coach Jamie Cairns. “Sometimes a snowball comes rolling down the hill and it’s tough to stop.
“But our boys battled hard right to the end (but) Team Alaska made some changes to their game and scored more goals than we did.”
Down 5-1, Alaska scored two goals at the end of the second period and three more in the third. The winning goal was put in just 13 seconds after the tying goal with 4:22 left in regulation.
The Yukon bantams’ only win of the Games was a 6-4 victory over Nunavut on Day 2. The team lost 5-0 to Alaska in the two teams’ first encounter at the Games.
Scoring for the Yukon in the bronze game were Alex Hanson, Malachi LaVallee, Levi Johnson, Karter Kazakoff and Chance Goodman. Hanson and Kole Comin both had two assists in the game.
With emotions running hot, a bit of a kerfuffle broke out between the teams following the final buzzer. The Yukon’s Marcus McLeod charged in to defend his captain.
“There was a scrum after the whistle – it was our captain Dylan McQuaig – and he was in there with two Alaska guys shoving and pushing and Marcus was the first one in,” said Cairns. “He was there battling for his brother and his teammate. At the end of the day, myself personally, am not going to give anybody grief over that because you have to be there for your teammates.
“We’ll probably have to face some consequences because of it, but that’s hockey sometimes.”
Officials at the game said McLeod could face a possible suspension from future Arctic Games and the B.C. Provincial Hockey Championships next week.
Five post-game penalties were given to the Yukon and four to Alaska. Each team was also given a game misconduct.
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