Battered and bruised, the Whitehorse Northern Cross Mustangs returned from the Richmond International Tournament with a 6-1 record, its only loss being to Kerry Park from Vancouver Island in the final.
The team took a lot of abuse, playing seven games in five days, with six players scratched due to injuries by the December 31 final, including captain Nick Mauro.
“We did have a deep team, though,” said coach Mike Young.
After so many games, the Mustangs offence couldn’t work up any steam, and a solid Kerry Park defence stumped them in the two periods. “We ran into a really good goalie,” said Young.
The final score was 3-2, and the Mustangs came home with silver.
Young is philosophical about the loss.
“It’s better to lose now and learn from it, and do well at provincials,” he said.
Whitehorse will play host to the BC provincial championships in March, and it’s likely that Kerry Park will make it to the event.
“We’re looking forward to a rematch, and some redemption,” said Young.
Despite the loss in the final, it was a solid performance.
The Mustangs defeated teams from Fairbanks, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Seattle and Wenatchee, Washington.
“The players have had a great deal of energy and are working their plays very well,” said Young. “We have had great goaltending and generally an all-around good effort by everyone.”
“A number of our boys have been approached by the scouts,” said Joe Martin, one of the two Whitehorse coaches. “This tournament is very good for putting Whitehorse hockey on the map in the South.”
Young explained that it has been a real team effort.
”No one has had to go far beyond the call of duty. Everyone on this team has played up to their potential and is really playing like a winning team,” he said.
“Our goalies have played well; Ian Perrier has kept us in games when we needed. Basically, this is a team that the coaching staff is very proud of.”
The Mustangs were invited to the tournament after winning gold in a Burnaby tournament in November.
More than 1,100 midget-aged hockey players and 56 midget teams converged in Richmond for the 25th Annual Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament.
The Christmas tournament is one of the largest in North America and includes teams from Canada and the US, from as far away as Colorado, Utah, Ontario, Texas, California and Chicago, Illinois.
Emily Quarton has successfully secured a place on the Canadian weightlifting team for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
She joins fellow Yukoner Jeanne Lassen, who is favoured to win the gold.
Her position on the team was determined following a competition on December 18. Before this competition she was in line for the sixth position available for the Commonwealth games, and no other competitors could bump her out of the spot.
However, Quarton’s work is just beginning. Her spot on the team is self-funded, and she must raise the necessary cash to get herself to Melbourne, Australia, for the games, which run March 15-26.
Contributions are welcome; please contact Moira Lassen at Sport Yukon, 668-4236.
Bantam division (Monday)
Bumper to Bumper 7
Medicine Chest 4
Division leaders Bumper to Bumper came out strong in the first period with Jaxon Glass scoring two and Drew O’Connor adding another. Medicine Chest followed with a goal by Craig Flaherty.
Glass picked up his hat trick in the second period for the Bumpers, while Riley Tobin scored for Medicine Chest.
The third period looked like a shooting match with goals by the Chest’s Riley Tobin and Aidan Love.
The Bumpers’ Dylan Wills scored early while Jaxon Glass followed up with two more (for a total of five goals) late in the game.
Willow Printers 6
Cale Bechtel scored a hat trick for Willow in this trouncing, with Coty Fraser adding two goals and Owen McKinnon rounding out the scoring.
Luke McDougall got the only goal for UAP/NAPA,
Alcan Adjusters 4
Dandelion Dental 4
Sam Kumar scored a pair for Alcan, and Laura Dahl and Cody Reaume added singles. Scoring for Dandelion were Josh Hanrath, with two, and Logan Potter and Steven Dynes scored as well. MVPs were Daniel Staley for Alcan and Savannah Marks for Dandelion.
Quantum Machine Works 13
Pristine Autocare 7
Grant McWatters booted in an amazing seven goals, Marcus Liebau had four, and Dylan Cole and Samantha Macklon added singles. Joaquin McWatters was named Quantum’s MVP.
Ateca Mills scored three for Pristine, while Jeremy Johnson, Esther Worthington and Travis O’Neil added singles. Esther Worthington was Pristine’s MVP.
Mount Mac ski report
Skiing is still very good on many trails in spite of the lack of new snow. Rock skis recommended for those concerned about hitting the odd stone.
Copper to Crossroads, Selwyn’s Loop, and Raven were groomed Thursday morning. Lower Valley and the Haul Road are renovated and good for classic or skating. Lower Valley is rough from Beaver Swamp to Best Chance Corner.
There are thin spots around the rec centre and near Harvey’s Hut.
McIntyre Ascent and McIntyre Loop are still good for classic. Experienced skiers only should attempt the Ascent Trail.
Powerline, 7.5K, Pierre Harvey, Logan Burn, Whisky Jack and Coyote are fair to good for skating and classic. Tracks on Coyote and Whisky Jack are good.
Skiing to the stadium from the rec centre is not recommended due to exposed rocks. Walk to the stadium.
Trail lights are on Monday to Friday from dusk to 9 p.m.
Aurora Ski School lessons are underway, register at Coast Mountain Sports.
Don Sumanik Races take place January 14-15. Please note that the skating race is Saturday and classic on Sunday due to snow conditions.
Subway Night Race #1 happens on January 18. Entry deadline is Tuesday January 17.
Jackrabbit Lessons are offered on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ski Parents now meeting on Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Take turns skiing while your children play in the wax room.