Enjoying a slight uptick in teams and hitting the 50-entry plateau, the 2017 Wayne and Lucie Eadie Spirit of Hockey Tournament crowned five new champions Sunday afternoon at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Many a familiar face was on hand, as local representatives welcomed teams from Cobden, Rouyn Noranda, Timmins, Thornton, Westmeath, Elliot Lake, Mindemoya, Sault Ste Marie and North Bay to the area.
In the end, both groups enjoyed bragging rights, as the hardware was split almost right down the middle.
The Rouyn Noranda Intersport Atoms ensured that the lengthy trek home would be a happy one, cruising to their title with an 8-0 shutout of the SMHA AtoMC Snipers. Thomas Petit helped power the attack from “La Belle Province”, drilling a hat trick, with Malik Lacroix adding a pair of goals.
Félix Bérubé, Colin Boulianne and Lucas Gauthier added one marker apiece, with Aeden Armitage registering the whitewash. The Peewee banner would also be heading out of town come Sunday evening, as Mikey’s Schumacher Bears trimmed Valley East King Sportswear 2-0 in their gold medal affair.
Kyle Meunier and Blake Picard found the back of the net exactly 2:30 apart late in the middle stanza and a shutdown defensive effort would take care of the rest. A close bantam final would break wide open late as the Sudbury Lakers added to an existing 1-0 lead with a pair of tallies from Braedan Pakkala, as well as the second of the game by Jaden Martin, all within the final 7:49.
The Lakers 4-0 victory was backstopped by netminder Marshall Farstad, who turned aside everything that the SMHA OPP Strike Force would throw his way. The Valley East Minor Hockey Association garnered the Minor Midget crown, courtesy of VEMHA Metro, as the champs bested the Sudbury Bulldogs 5-1.
Adam Young (2), Julien Myllymaki, Patrick Gagnon and Connor MacNeill all found their way on to the scoresheet for Metro, with Luca Nardi replying with the only goal for the Bulldogs. Finally, Nick Charron buried his second goal of the game, on the power play, with just under five minutes to play, lifting the Onaping Huskies past the Copper Cliff Chiefs 5-4.
Ethan O’Bumsawin, Dylan Goulet and Sean Brousseau rounded out the scoring for the winners, while Liam Fraser, Jack Wisniewski, Caleb Minor and Ben Grace countered for the Chiefs.