Whitehorse, Yellowknife hockey teams to face off this weekend

A pan-territorial hockey rival will ignite once again this weekend.

A pan-territorial hockey rival will ignite once again this weekend.

The Whitehorse Mustangs and the Yellowknife Wolfpack rep hockey clubs will face off in both capital cities at the second annual Air North Hockey Challenge, beginning Friday.

“It’s bringing the associations together, so we’re really happy with it,” said Carl Burgess, president of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association. “Lots of friendships were made last year. I know players are looking forward to meeting up with their buddies in Yellowknife and the kids are texting and calling each other already.”

This weekend will feature 24 games with 12 in Whitehorse and 12 in Yellowknife as three Yellowknife teams travel to Whitehorse and three Whitehorse teams head over to Yellowknife.

The two territorial hockey associations came together to create the Air North Hockey Challenge after Yukon’s airline of the same name began direct flights between the two capitals.

“Air North is awesome again,” said Burgess. “I think we’ll have 120 players in the air between Whitehorse and Yellowknife going back and forth. We’re not sure of the number of parents going as well, but it’s a really big operation.”

“We’re hoping to match the teams up again later in the New Year,” he added.

The peewee, female and midget Mustangs will face their Wolfpack counterparts in Whitehorse.

Atom and Bantam Mustangs, as well as a Whitehorse novice team, will head over to Yellowknife to compete.

“The novice team, we put together for this,” said Burgess. “Yellowknife does their rep development program right down into novice, so they asked if we could do that. So we put a novice team together that might be up to the challenge. It’s just a one-off novice team (with) novice house league players.”

The weekend’s action in Whitehorse kicks off Friday at 5:30 p.m. with a match-up between the Peewee Wolfpack and the Peewee Mustangs, followed by female and midget games.

A ceremonial puck-drop will take place Saturday at 12:30 p.m. following three morning games and before three afternoon games.

Whitehorse Minor has really stepped things up this season at home.

Seven outside teams are set to travel to Whitehorse for a joint peewee and bantam tournament in November.

The Atom Jr. Mustangs will again be the hometown favourites as they host a second annual Atom tournament early December.

Whitehorse has also been selected to host the Tier 3 midget division of the B.C. Hockey Championships this March.

“Travelling hockey associations – especially northern ones – are always looking for opportunities to compete against peers,” said Burgess. “Getting enough games in during the year before provincials is a priority.

“It’s always challenging. So having Air North as an official airline is a huge advantage for us these days.”

All games in Whitehorse this weekend will be held at Takhini Arena and attendance is free. See the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association website for more details.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

Indigenous lobster boats head from the harbour in Saulnierville, N.S. on Oct. 21. Elected officials in the Yukon, including all 19 members of the legislature, are backing the right of Mi’kmaq fishers on the East Coast to launch a moderate livelihood fishery. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)
Yukon legislature passes motion to support Mi’kmaw fishery

“It’s not easy, but it’s also necessary for us to have these very difficult conversations”

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Whitehorse sewage lagoons photographed in 2011. With new regulations for wastewater anticipated to be introduced by the federal government within the next decade, the City of Whitehorse may soon be doing some prep work by looking at exactly what type of pollutants are making their way into the city’s wastewater. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Pondering pollutants

City could spend $70,000 looking at what contaminents are in waste water

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Most Read