Long drives home seemed a little shorter for two Yukon hockey teams following the Whitehorse Oldtimers Tournament this past weekend.
The Dawson City Generals won the A division and the Watson Lake Silver Tip Oldtimers topped the B division with wins on Sunday at Takhini Arena in Whitehorse.
The Dawson Generals defeated Whitehorse’s Roadhouse Hairball Rats 2-1 in overtime in the A division final.
“We surprised ourselves,” said Generals assistant captain Eddie Taylor. “We showed up and grabbed a couple players from Whitehorse … one from Faro…
“Our goalie carried us all the way. He was the difference for our team. He stopped many, many shots.”
Generals goalie Daniel Green had his hands full in the final, especially in the second period as his team took seven penalties. The Rats even opened the overtime with a two-man advantage.
“It’s a big relief,” said Green. “It was an awesome game. I really enjoyed the tournament. I enjoy coming down every year. This year we finally took it.”
Green returned to hockey three or four years ago, he said, after being away from the sport for a decade. He only started playing in net upon his return.
“I used to be a forward,” said Green. “I changed it up a bit. I’ve been flexible most of my life, so it’s been pretty good.”
The Rats, who lost in a shootout in last year’s final, shut down the Generals 5-0 Saturday evening to arrive in the final undefeated.
“Their goalie stood on his head today – he stood on his head yesterday when we beat them,” said Rats captain Blaine “Bubba” Demchuk. “He just played a little harder today – the whole team. They were strong on defence, kept us wide, everything we were scrambling around the net they seemed to clear.”
Dawson took the win on an overtime goal from Ron Servatius, beating Rats goalie Mike Hawkins on a laser beam wrist shot just inside the blue line.
The Generals, who lost in the semifinal last year, went up 1-0 on a first-period goal from Frank Kormandy.
Putting Roadhouse on the board was Jeff Jensen, knocking in a rebound with 8:17 left in the second of two periods.
“What made the difference today was we played tighter defence against them,” said Taylor. “We locked down our end a little better.”
The Watson Lake Silver Tip Oldtimers didn’t expect to win the B division. In fact, they didn’t expect to even play in it.
Having gone winless in the B division last year, the Watson Lake squad originally entered the C division, which was later scrapped.
“We got an email Monday morning saying the C division was cancelled because they didn’t get enough teams,” said Silver Tips’ Grant Harris.
“It kind of vaulted us into the B, which is more of a skilled division. So we were kind of wondering how we were going to do, and it turned out good.
“We weren’t planning to be in the final at all.”
The Silver Tip Oldtimers downed B.C.‘s Dease Lake Rams 3-2 to win the B division final.
Down 1-0 going into the second, Watson Lake took the lead on three goals in the span of three and a half minutes. Charles Brodhagen got the game-winner with 5:13 left in regulation. Also scoring for the Silver Tips were Adam Lightfoot, unassisted, and Darryl Peters, assisted by Joe Thomas.
Dease Lake pulled their goalie and the extra man helped the Rams pull to within one with 43 seconds left.
“We were just hanging on at the end really,” said Harris.
Finding the back of the net for the Rams were Ken Cook and Emil Dendys.
Watson Lake lost their first game of the tournament 7-4 to Dease Lake, who went into the final undefeated.
“I think they were expecting to beat us because 7-4 is a pretty good score,” said Harris.
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