Final day at the Top Gun Tournament here in Canmore Alberta.
This is a sudden death matchup with one game elimination rounds.
This mornings first game was between Yellowknife & Jr. Golden Bears, they were sitting in 1st & 4th place respectfully. At the halfway point in the 3rd period the score is 5:3 for Yellowknife. With less than 6 minutes of play left it is a nail biter!
Final score 5:3; Jr. Golden Bears drop to the 4th/5th place matchup and Yellowknife advances to the gold medal game.
Next game in the sheet is Jr. Oil Kings vrs. Spring Dogs (2nd & 3rd place)
A back and forth battle between these two teams.
1:1 after the first period, 3:2 Oil coming into the third.
Final score 6:3 for the Jr. Oil Kings, they advance to the gold medal game. The Spring dogs were awarded bronze medals.
Way to go boys!
While sitting in Subway with some of the parents from the teams it is time to reflect on a few things.
First off this tournament has been pretty smooth overall, the stats and games sheets were updated quickly and there was always a person at the tournament desk for the entire day.
I did have to wonder on the last game however how three players from the losing team made the all star roster while only two from the winning team did. This was the second match between these two teams (Jr.Oil Kings and Spring Dogs) and the Kings were easily in control of both rounds.
It is just a piece of plastic I know, I am curious though where the logic sits on how the selection process worked.
The town of Canmore is a fantastic spot to host a Spring hockey event; one suggestion I do have though is next year, maybe mention to the skate sharpening locations that there is a hockey tournament in advance.
With a Spring hockey tournament and an AJHL Junior A camp running at the same time; I felt bad for the lone sharpener staring down twelve dads waiting for skates every two hours!
Well the gold medal game between Yellowknife Sporting Club & the Jr. Oil Kings started a bit late but its off to a roaring start.
This is a fast paced game underway; neither team wanting to fall behind early on.
The Jr. Oil Kings lit the light first however Yellowknife soon responded with a goal of their own. Its a 1:1 tie at the end of the first.
The second and third period were owned by Yellowknife as they scored two goals in each period to secure an easy 5:1 win to take gold.
Yellowknife took control of the game in the second period and didn’t let up for the remainder of the game, easily out skating the Jr. Oil Kings shift by shift.
At this level of hockey teams need to be conditioned to the pace of the game as well as use more advanced gameplay to secure a win. One man breakouts (relying on single a man rush) and dump and chase tactics simply won’t do if players can’t keep up. This was evident in todays game.
While the Jr. Oil Kings didn’t let up they were out matched when many of their players (some often double & triple shifted) ran out of gas as the game progressed.
Hats off to both teams as they battled hard and didn’t give up.
A great tournament, now however its time to head back home and get some rest!