Both the Yorkton Kinsmen Arena and the Farrell Agencies Arena welcomed a total of 12 Bantam tier II hockey clubs from as far away as Muenster, SK, and Swan Rive, MB, this past weekend for a three day hockey tournament.
While tournament play began on Friday, the tournament itself started a long time ago. In reality the tournament began way back in November, when the tournament committee got together to plan how the entire event would unfold. “We usually start in November just to okay our teams and see how big of a tournament we are going to have,” said Yorkton Minor Hockey President Kerri Kawchuk in a brief interview during a lull in tournament play. “Then we kind of form our plan of attack and see how we are going to organize it.”
“Some of the teams compete in the Major Hockey League together so when it comes to figuring out the pools we look at that. We try to split them up so they aren’t playing teams they would normally play so that the players can play different opponents.”
Kawchuk also mentioned that this year’s tournament has seen a growth in the number of teams when compared to tournaments of seasons past. “We used to always have just eight teams in this tournament but now we have 12 which is proof that the tournament is getting larger.”
“We’re hoping we can push it to 16 teams in the future.”
For now the 12 team tournament will have to suffice.
However 12 teams can certainly put forth an entertaining hockey experience, as proved by the level of hockey that was on display over the three-day tournament.
Each team that participated was guaranteed four games and when all was said and done the Muenster Flyers took home the championship in decisive fashion, going 4-0 in tournament play, defeating the Yorkton Forever Fit Terriers 4-1 and the Fort Qu’Appelle Fort Knox 11-1 in the round robin before blanking the Yorkton Quiznos Terriers 8-0 in the ‘A’ side semi-finals.
Muenster then met the Swan Valley Stampeders in the tournament championship, where they got five third period goals from five different players to beat the team from Manitoba, despite trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.
Three Yorkton teams also took part in the bantam tier II tournament.
The top Yorkton team in the tournament was the Yorkton Quiznos Terriers. The Quiznos Terriers finished first in Pool B with convincing 10-0 and 7-3 victories over the Melville Jets and Humboldt Broncos before dropping the 8-0 decision to Muenster. They then knocked off Grenfell 6-1 in the ‘A’ Side consolation game to finish third overall.
The Yorkton Forever Fit Terriers beat the Martensville Marauders 4-2 in the ‘B’ side final to finish fifth overall with a record of 2-1-1, their lone loss also at the hands of the eventual champion Muenster Flyers (4-1) while the other Yorkton team that participated, the Yorkton DR Auto Extras Terriers, finished in 11th place with a hard fought 5-0 victory over the Melville Jets in the ‘C’ side consolation game.