November 25 2006 at 2:54 PM No score for this post
(Login johncho) Forum Owner from IP address 188.8.131.52
Braves fall short of a repeat
Karen Longwell photo
Stone T-Birds player Ivor Myers Jr. checks the Alkali Braves' Willis Harry during Friday's game at the complex. The game was part of the native hockey tournament last weekend.
By Alistair McInnisTribune Sports Writer
Nov 23 2006
Defending champions fall short in hometown tournament
The Cariboo Memorial Complex played host the hard-hitting native hockey action last weekend as the Alkali Braves 18th Annual Hockey Tournament made its way into town.
A total of 10 teams hit the ice in a modified double knockout draw that had the final a single game elimination. Sunday's championship came down to two teams - the Cariboo Canucks and Big Guy Lake.
The Canucks won a 5-4 thriller in overtime the first time these teams met but the final was a different story. Led by Darcy Prince, who had a six-point game with three goals and three assists, Big Guy Lake won 8-4 to take the title and a $3,000 cash prize.
Two games prior to the final, Prince was limited to a point as Big Guy Lake dropped down to the B draw where they faced off against the Okanagan T-Birds in a semi-final. Three-point games by Donovan Ketlo and Hank Prince helped the team drop the T-Birds to the tune of an 8-5 score and set up the crucial rematch with the Canucks.
Big Guy Lake and the Canucks were each 4-1 overall.
Looking for their third consecutive title, the host Alkali Braves eventually fell short after starting off 2-0 with wins over Stone and Fort St. John. They were eliminated Saturday evening after losing consecutive games, to Big Guy Lake and the T-Birds.
The other teams participating in the tournament were the BC Warriors, Wolf Pack, Young Nations and Tsi Del Del.
"It was good competition, the best in a while," says Braves coach and tournament organizer Arnold Harry.
With 10 teams compared to last year's eight, the Braves had more teams to try and finish atop of this time around. They also had to play without some key players through a portion of the tournament. A few players such as Francis Johnson and Wilfred Robbins also play on the Williams Lake Stampeders Senior AA men's team that had a doubleheader in Hazelton on Saturday and Sunday. Their goalie, Calvin Dubray, also couldn't make it due to other commitments.
Harry says his team suited 14 players on Friday but could only ice six or seven on Saturday. Despite the shortfall, he says the tournament was positive for his players and everybody in attendance.
"It went good. It was the best (tournament) we've had in a few years. It was excellent hockey."