Covid-19 has put a damper on a lot of activities, with the Inuvialuit Regional Coporation recently announcing the IRC Cup would be put off until 2022.
But, in spite of the requirements to keep a maximum of 25 people in an area, Inuvik Minor Hockey was able to put together a 3-0n-3 tournament for its members Feb. 27-28.
“At this time of year, we have the Gwich’in Cup which incorporates the Beaufort Delta region and beyond,” said IMH president Carolyn Hunter. “But this year we couldn’t accommodate that under the Covid-19 restrictions.
“So instead, we decided to run a 3-on-3 tournament with our registered players. That allowed them to have a fun event that we could operate with approval from the Chief Public Health officer.”
Under Covid-19 rules, hockey in the NWT allows for a maximum of 25 people on the ice, including players, officials and coaches. Keeping the tournament to 3-on-3, plus a goaltender, allowed for the tournament to run smoothly without safety concerns.
Similarly, with a maximum of 25 people allowed in the stands, parents took turns watching their favorite players throughout the weekend. Throughout the weekend, just over 100 kids made their way through the Midnight Sun Complex.
Games were 15 minutes long and each team was able to get eight games under their belts.
In the end, medals were handed out to the top three teams in each age group, except for the U7s who all received a medal. Players then put dropped their gloves and set down for a pizza party following the tournament.
“We don’t keep score for the U7s, it’s all about fun,” said Hunter. “We also picked most valuable players from each team to recognize someone who made an effort during this tournament.”
Girls take over the ice
Another annual tradition was able to stay on the ice this year as well. Inuvik’s annual participation in Hockey Canada’s Coming Together for Female hockey was not stymied by the fact the World Girl’s Hockey Day was postponed due to Covid-19.
Two teams took the arena by storm Feb. 27 for a solid hour of hockey.
“We decided to continue on the tradition and host our own day,” said Hunter. “Usually we have events in the community hall, but instead we sent them home with a bag of crafts and fun activities, and cupcakes.
“Then we had two female coaches, Brittney Selena and Lisa Murphy to do on-ice activities. “
Celebrating women’s hockey in the Delta is not over yet — Hunter said efforts were underway this week to take the same event and host it in Paulatuk and Aklavik.
Items to host a girl’s hockey day have already been dispatched to Akavik. Hunter said she was flying out to Paulatuk herself to host the game there.
“We’re trying to extend girl’s to the entire Beaufort Delta to recognize the female hockey players in our region,” she said