Roughly 345 players spread among 23 teams helped make this year’s fourth annual Cariboo Canucks All-Native Hockey Tournament another success, said organizer Cecil Grinder.
Five divisions — a masters/recreational division, an elders division, a women’s division, a youth division (six to eight years old) and a competitive division — saw teams compete over three days Dec. 18-20 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
“It was nice to see people come just to watch hockey,” Grinder said of the fanfare. “It’s fun with the elders coming to watch and good to see them come out to watch our youth division, our up and coming players. Everyone I talked to said they were glad they played in the tournament.”
In the competitive division the Alkali Braves knocked off the host Cariboo Canucks, 3-1, in the championship.
A team made up of three-on-three players from Total Ice Training Centre named Williams Lake, one of two non First Nations teams in the tournament, downed the host Cariboo Stars, 2-1, in the women’s division final.
The other non First Nations Team, West Fraser, defeated the Athabaskans, 8-4, to claim the elders division (55 plus) title.
The masters/recreational division final saw the host Longhorns edge Gex Nati, while in the youth division Kamloops beat Lil Hawk to win.
At the tournament tributes were paid to the late Norman Alphonse, who won the best fan award in 2012, and the late Rocky Jim, a man Grinder said was “our leader in sports in his time here.”
“He looked after us,” Grinder said. “At the honorary puck drop his grandson dropped the puck for us.”
Youth Division (6-8 yrs old)
Best goalie: Cloe Rupert (Kamloops)
Best defence: Danic Soloman (Lil Hawk) and Luca Gapello (Kamloops)
Best forward: Nathan Johnson (Lil Hawk), Seth Holt (Kamloops) and Seth Cahoose
Best goalie: Jamie Moe
Best defence: Brent Kelso (W.F.) and Randy Johnson (Ath)
Best forward: Darrell Sellar (Ath), Anthony Chelsea (Alkali) and Bruce Anderson (W.F.)
Best goalie: Tanner Nickel
Best defence: Derrick Stump (Longhorn) and Todd Isnardy
Best forward: Earl Call (L.G.), Lucas Quilt (G.N.) and Sherman Mack (L.G.)
Best goalie: Joanna-Rae Alphonse
Best defence: Kacey Seymour (C.S.) and Allie Waterhous (C.S.)
Best forward: Tessa Hare (WL), Isabelle Call (CS) and Jordan Evans (WL)
Best goalie: Christian Stump
Best defence: Vince Kozuki (CC) and Andrew Morrison (H.B.)
Best forward: Duane Alphonse (CC), Francis Johnson (Alkali) and Curtis Cardinal (Alkali)