After missing a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 33rd IRC Native Hockey tournament returned with a roar March 17 to 20. Fourteen teams — including two from Whitehorse and teams from Paulatuk and Délı̨nę — made up two divisions to please a packed, masked crowd with four days of back-to-back, high intensity hockey. When the dust finally settled, the PCM Pros were named the ‘B’ Division champions and the Inuvik Huskies claimed the ‘A’ Division title.

Duane Smith prepares to drop the puck while Inuvik Husky Mickey Ipana and Malena Select Kevin Krengnektak stand ready. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Malena Selects goaltender Jason Taylor readies himself as a Délı̨nę Braves forward closes in during the ‘A’ Division bronze medal game March 20. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Tianna Gordon-Ruben sings the national anthem in Inuvialuktun while Elder Lillian Elias looks on with pride. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Malena Select Carson Johnstone presents Steve Krug with a special Every Child Matters jersey during the opening ceremonies. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

LJ Sabres goaltender Dominik Buffalo stops a shot by Inuvik Huskies forward Brandon Monchuk during the ‘A’ Division championship. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Tori and Wilma Hendrick assist Elder Lillian Elias off the ice following the opening ceremonies. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

LJ’s Sabres forward Darby Blake attempts to chip the puck past the Inuvik Huskies’s Brandon Monchuk. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

The PCM Pros celebrate after winning the ‘B’ Division championship. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Délı̨nę goaltender Lance Lennie sprawls out to stop a shot from Malena Selects forward Dawson Elias tries to slip the puck past him during the bronze medal ‘A’ league final March 20. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Inuvik Huskies forward Elton Ruben races forward with LJ’s Sabres forward Breandon Firth in hot pursuit during the ‘A’ Division championship. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

LJ’s Sabres players celebrate after scoring a goal during the ‘A’ Division championship game. Eric Bowiling/NNSL photo

Inuvik Huskies centre Mickey Ipana hoists the IRC Cup during the closing ceremonies. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Tuk Bulldogs captain James Keevik is all smiles in spite of a battle scar. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Davonna Kasook performs a one-foot high kick during a Northern Games demonstration March 19 that was held in conjunction with the IRC Cup tournament at the Inuvik Youth Centre. The centre is planning to host regular lessons in games in the near future. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

LJ’s Sabres forward Brandon Firth takes off after the puck during the ‘A’ Division championship. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Sean Poitras, ‘A’ Division most valuable player, is congratulated by IRC Chair Duane Smith and Lawrence Ruben. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

PCM Pros captain Keaton Firth-Cockney raises the ‘B’ Division trophy during the closing ceremonies. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

McPhoo Jet Donovan Koe, who was the ‘B’ Division most valuable player, is congratulated by Paulatuk Community Corporation Chair Lawrence Ruben and IRC Chair Duane Ningaqsiq Smith. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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