A team of Atom hockey players in Hay River won a recent tournament in their home town.
Hay River Huskies Atoms White – one of two Hay River teams playing – won gold by taking the championship game against the Fort Smith Hawks, which took home silver.
The winning team claimed gold by tying the championship game with only a minute-and-a-half left and scoring the final goal with 1.6 seconds on the clock, said Kirsten Fischer, the Atoms division director with Hay River Minor Hockey.
The Hay River Huskies Atoms Blue claimed bronze for third place.
“We were very proud of both teams for finishing in the top 3,” said Fischer.
The Feb. 21-23 tournament – for players nine and 10 years of age – attracted eight teams. Along with the two teams from Hay River and two from Fort Smith, two others came from Yellowknife, one from Fort Providence and one from Rainbow Lake, Alta.
The tournament was sponsored by the Rusty Blades Oldtimers Hockey Club.
In all, 18 games were played during the tournament.
Fischer noted all of them were very close matches, especially the finals.
“So it could have been anybody’s tournament,” said the organizer. “We didn’t go into the tournament thinking Hay River is going to win it or Fort Smith is going to win it. Every single game was close like that.”
Fischer expressed appreciation to the parents of the players for helping with the tournament.
“You really can’t make those tournaments happen without the help of the parents,” she said. “Our parents for that division really stepped up and helped a lot with that tournament. It was awesome.”