After taking the silver in 2013, Pelly Crossing’s Selkirk Bears finally broke through with gold in the Yukon Native Hockey Tournament on Sunday at Takhini Arena.
The Bears held on to a first-period lead to defeat the LJ’s Sabers from Fort McPherson, N.W.T., 7-5 in the final of the B division.
“We’re all pretty pumped up now. This is our first year winning it,” said Bears captain Morris Morrison. “We’ve been in this situation for like six years and it’s good to finally win.”
The Selkirk Bears lost to the Sabers 3-2 on Saturday and were pushed to the bottom of the draw. They reached the final with a 5-3 win over third place’s Lower Post Eagles in the semifinal.
“The first game we played against them we weren’t playing too good, weren’t skating, and our passes weren’t hitting the tape,” said Morrison.
Things got intense late in the final as the Sabers pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and scored with 29 seconds left to pull within one at 6-5. But the Bears’ Vern Cooper put a long shot into the empty net 15 seconds later to seal the deal. It was Cooper’s fourth of the game, helping him win the award for being the division’s top scorer and its MVP. Teammate Daniel Cletheroe notched the game-winner and had two assists. Burt Stephens and Nolan Lagace also scored for the Bears in the final.
“We kept skating, kept making them have to work, capitalized on our chances and buried some pucks,” said Morrison.
Sabers’ Evan Tordiff had a goal and two assists, Darien Cardinal a goal and assist, and Clint Loumenda two assists in the final.
Sabers netminder Jordan Nighttraveller was named the division’s best goalie.
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