With wins in both the youth and jamboree divisions, the Tahltan Selects club was the only to secure two titles at this year’s Yukon Native Hockey Tournament.
The Junior Tahltan Selects, from Tahltan Nation in northern B.C., shutout the Whitehorse Warriors 2-0 to win the youth division on Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.
“We’re feeling good. Surprised,” said Selects captain Regan Asp, who is from Dease Lake. “(We had) no selfish plays and the goalie did good.”
The Selects, who placed second in the division last year, took the title with two first-period goals in the final. Jaiden Loverin scored what stood up as the game-winner just two and a half minutes in, assisted by Christian Albert. Loverin was later named Best Defence for the division.
Asp added a second goal five minutes later, assisted by Levi Etzerza.
However, the star of the show was Selects goalie Torin Cumiskey, backstopping the team with a 1.75 goals-against average at the tournament and getting named division MVP.
“What stood out was that they laid it all out there,” said Selects head coach Dwayne Gleason. “They back-checked like I never seen them back-check. They knew it was all on the line and they pulled it off. For young kids, that’s amazing.”
The Tahltan Selects didn’t nab gold unscathed. The team lost 4-1 to the Whitehorse Warriors on Saturday and had to take the back door to the final. They topped third place’s Fort Nelson Flyers in the semifinal Sunday morning to get another shot at the Warriors in the final.
“We had a little meeting, did a couple of line changes and we beat them today,” said Gleason. “The score didn’t indicate the play (on Saturday). We played with them, there were just a few bounces and I told them that.
“They knew they could play with them and today they proved it.”
Sam Skinner of the Tuk Warriors out of N.W.T. was given the Top Scorer award for the division, Navada Joe of the Carmacks Lil Wild Ones was named Best Goalie and teammate Alex Taylor was named Most Sportsmanlike Player for the entire tournament.
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