The 25th annual Goodwill Hockey tournament capped its milestone year with a tight championship game, and the host team taking home the trophy.
The host Gull Bay Ice Lords won their second-straight Goodwill tournament with a 2-0 victory over the Pic River Sharks, the last team to win the tournament.
Three years ago, Pic River took the title by beating Gull Bay, so the final game at the Fort William First Nation arena on April 28 was extra sweet for Gull Bay.
Tournament organizer Roderick Bouchard of Gull Bay said the 25th anniversary of the tournament was a great chance for old and new players alike to enjoy the weekend.
“Everybody had fun,” Bouchard said, adding that some of the players involved in the tournament have played every year for the past quarter-century. “Everybody had the chance to meet up with friends and have a good time.”
Overall the tournament featured 28 youth teams in four divisions, and 20 men’s teams.
The men’s consolation prize went to the Makok Lake Outlaws, featuring a number of players from Eabametoong First Nation, who beat the Huskies from Big Island 9-5 in the consolation final.
In the youth divisions, Lac Seul was the most successful community. Lac Seul’s novice team beat the Oji Crees from Constance Lake 4-2 in the novice final, and the Lac Seul peewees beat Thunder Bay Thunder 5-4 to take that division title.
In the Atom division, the TTN Eagles beat the North Shore Thunderbirds 4-3 in the final. TTN Eagles was made up of players from the Cochrane area, while the North Shore team was players from the Geraldton area.
In Bantam, the Long Lac Hitmen took the title over the Fort William North Stars by a score of 3-2.
Bouchard said the feedback he received about the tournament was very positive.
“A lot of people told us to keep up the good work,” he said.
Planning for next year’s tournament will begin soon, Bouchard added. He said the 2014 tournament will continue with the same format it had in 2013.
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