The message might have been all about fun at the 30th Annual Scotiabank SMHA Fun Day Tournament, but come championship finals on Sunday, these little houseleague hustlers were laying it all on the line.
The SMHA Crush opened the festivities on the last day of competition, blanking the Rayside-Balfour TigerCats 5-0 in taking the Tyke final. Yannick Savard and Lucas Jacko scored two goals apiece to lead the way, with Izabel Courville rounding out the scoring and Andrew McLean registering the whitewash between the pipes.
The Novice "B" gold medal encounter was arguably the most exciting of the day as the SMHA Bulldogs overcame a 2-1 deficit after the second period, rallying for a 4-2 win over the SMHA Stingers.
Reise Lapointe opened the scoring for the Bulldogs with the only goal of the first period, as the 1-0 score remained intact well into period number two. After being denied on a couple of earlier breakaway attempts, Liam Love finally broke through, going five-hole to deadlock the contest at 1-1.
The Stingers took their only lead of the game just 41 seconds later as Riley Farmer played a nice chip off the boards at his own blue line, catching up to the puck through the neutral zone before going to a backhand deke in tight for the second Stingers' goal.
With 6:17 to play in the game, Sequoia Nebenionquit made a nice play to break up the Stingers' rush, with teammate Ethan Lamothe scooping up the loose puck and going coast to coast to knot the game at 2-2.
With the intensity starting to rise, Felix St Onge found himself all alone in front of the Stingers net, taking a pass from Camron Laronde and lifting the backhand home for the game-winning tally.
With goaltender Joseph Gouchie standing tall (figuratively speaking) in net for the Bulldogs, the champions dodged a couple of bullets before Nebenionquit settled matters once and for all, converting on a feed from Lamothe with just 7.8 seconds showing on the clock.
The SMHA Predators earned Novice "A" bragging rights as Dominic Morris drilled a hat-trick, lifting his team to a 6-0 win over the Copper Cliff Braves. Logan West, Lewis Godin and Scott Coles rounded out the scoring for the winners, while Chris Hebert performed flawlessly in picking up the shutout for the Preds.
Finally, goals from Matteo Raso, Colin Burrell and Harris Polehoykie made the difference as the Nickel Centre Sting claimed the Atom crown with a 3-1 win over the SMHA Penguins. Ethan Atkins replied with the only goal in a losing cause.