As humble as they get, Yukon Office Supply’s Haiden Kremer had a revelation to make after scoring his team’s game winner in overtime on Sunday.
“I was actually trying to pass it to our captain, but my stick kind of went up and got it past,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I did that.”
Intentional or not, Kremer’s goal gave his team a 3-2 win over Skookum Asphalt in the atom division final of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s Year End Tournament, wrapping up Sunday at the Canada Games Centre.
“That was fantastic. It was an amazing way to win the season,” said Office Supply coach Gordon Campbell. “We’ve been having really good luck all year.
“They really pushed for the last little bit. It was wonderful.”
In a rematch of the Yukon Amateur Hockey Association championships final earlier this year in Haines Junction, Office Supply again topped Skookum, making them undefeated in five games over the weekend.
“We’ve had a strong team all year and have a lot of games where the kids haven’t been pushed,” said Campbell. “So this was great for the kids to really push, try harder and see what it takes to get to the next level.”
Not only did Kremer score the game winner, flinging a backhand at the net on a tight angle, he opened the scoring for his team and then assisted their second goal, scored by Mack Benn Wipp.
“A lot of these kids I’ve seen since they were five-years-old in tykes, so it was great to see him do well because you know he’s got the skill,” said Campbell of Kremer.
The win marks the end of a very successful season for Office Supply. Not only did they win both the amateur title and the year-end tourney, the team only lost three regular season games, one to each of the other division teams.
Scoring for Skookum in the final were Nathan Abel and Logan Kruse.
Taking third in the division was Envirolube.
Sandors withdraws win from Coldwell Banker
Like the atom final, the novice division ended with a rematch of the Yukon Amateur Hockey Championships finalists.
Again like the atom final, the same team took gold in the rematch.
After dropping a two-goal lead, Sandors took the novice title with a 3-2 win over Coldwell Banker.
Though only one team could take gold, both head coaches were proud of how their teams performed.
“I think that was the best game our team has had all year,” said Sandors head coach Mike Cozens. “Two very evenly matched teams, in a very tight game in which both goaltenders played great. It was the most fun game to coach all year.”
“It was a great game, my whole team played well,” said Coldwell head coach Mark Daniels. “It’s the end of a long rivalry. We’re happy with the team, we’re happy with the other team, and everything worked out well. They are young kids, so the idea is to develop skills and have fun.”
Sandors’ two-goal lead, established by scorers Joe Hanson and Kailen Lewis, evaporated with goals from Coldwell’s Eric Potvin and Nisha Dempsey. However, Sandors second-year defenceman Liam Hudson scored his second game winner against Coldwell in the tournament, with 3:24 left in the third period.
“It’s kind of fitting he got the game winning goal, he’s been pretty solid all year for us,” said Cozens. “He’s gotten some clutch goals. In fact, he got the shootout winner.”
Capturing the bronze for the novice division was Titan Gaming.
Takhini Transport drives
off with bantam title
Takhini Transport was transporting pucks to the back of opponents’ net in the bantam division. The team went undefeated in five round-robin games for the title. (There was no gold medal game in the division.)
“I was really pleased with the kids. They got better as the year progressed and worked hard,” said Takhini head coach John Grant. “There were contributions from all the players that were there.”
Takhini opened with their most lopsided win, going 8-2 over the eventual second place team, Canadian Tire. Doing the most damage were Giles Jim with a hat trick and Karter Kazakoff producing two goals and an assist.
Takhini then topped third place finishers Powerade with a 6-4 win Saturday morning after finding the game tied 3-3 after two periods. Once again Jim was on the board, scoring two goals, as did teammate Josh Van Bibber.
“We were up 3-1, they came back, but we took over in the third,” said Grant.
Three unanswered, third-period goals by the Scotiabank Avalanche girls’ team were not enough to break Takhini’s win steak, losing 6-4 to Takhini on Saturday.
Takhini’s Kurt Spenner had a two-goal game while Tamara Greek scored all four of the Avalanche’s goals.
“She was a tower of strength for them; she played a great game,” said Grant of Greek. “Actually they all did – their goaltender played great.”
Not helping the Avalanche was the absence of seven top players who were away trying out for BC’s National Aboriginal Hockey Championships team. Four were selected for the squad.
After a 7-4 win over Quantus, with Kazakoff scoring four goals, Takhini solidified their undefeated run with a tight 4-3 win over the peewee Mustangs. Spenner got the game winner.
“It was kind of an interesting tournament because some of our lesser skilled players really stepped up,” said Grant. “They started playing really well.”
Though Canadian Tire and Powerade both finished with 3-2 records, the former took the silver having defeated the latter in their round-robin matchup.
Wild in tykes final
Like their namesakes down in Vancouver, the Canucks were burning it up in the tykes division.
The team eventually took the title with a 7-2 win over the Wild in the final.
“The kids played all weekend long and they were battling – they put everything out there and it was great to see,” said Canucks coach Matt Power. “Even though it was so challenging and there was a lot of effort in it, we wanted them to have a nice fun game, and I think that’s what came out.
“They are on cloud nine in there. They are really happy.”
An unstoppable force on the ice for the Canucks was player Ty Beacon, scoring five goals, including their first three for the natural hat trick.
“Ty is just one of those players who leaves everything out on the ice,” said Power. “He doesn’t give up and he’s just 110 per cent, that kid. When you see him out on the ice, he’s always after the puck. He’s our best player.
“This is his first year (in tykes), which is tremendous for him. He’s ready to go to novice.”
Also scoring for the Canucks were Marco Cooper and Ethan Candow, who also had an assist. Finding the back of the net for the Wild was Zeb Blower with two unassisted goals.
Though the final wasn’t at all close, the overall division seemed to be, with the Canucks suffering a shootout loss to the fourth-place Flames during the round-robin. The Penguins took home the bronze.
on way to gold
With a five-goal spread marking their closest game, the atom Mustangs were firmly in control to end the season, undefeated en route to gold in the peewee division.
The local rep team secured first place with an 8-2 win over Cinderwood in the final.
“The kids did exactly what we wanted them to do. They moved the puck well, they skated well, and it’s been a pleasure coaching them all year,” said Mustangs head coach Mike L’Henaff.
“The way we skated and moved the puck, it’s pretty hard for these teams – they don’t play as much together.”
Leading the charge against Cinderwood were Bryce Anderson and Joe Stokes, both with hat tricks, while teammate Dylan Cozens produced three assists.
Scoring for Cinderwood were Trenton Dupont and Gavin Laurie.
The win means two in a row for the Mustangs, having cruised to first in Tier 3 of the Victoria Ice Hawks Atom Development Tournament the previous weekend.
“We set out a game plan at the start of the year and I think we achieved it,” said L’Henaff. “We have a lot of kids that have stepped up their games and improved dramatically.”
Taking third was Duncans.
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