You know the first eight seeds in our quest to find the greatest sports team there’s ever been in the history of the NWT. Now it’s time to see who the next eight seeds are in this competition. We now present to you seeds no. 9 through 16 in the Greatest Of All Time.
No. 9 – 2019 NWT Men’s Doubles Darts Team (Elvis Beaudoin and Keith Way)
Oh, yes – Elvis Beaudoin and Keith Way are definitely a team. They aren’t solo players, they won this together as a duo and that makes them a team.
It was a historic night in Saskatoon at the Canadian National Darts Championships in June 2019 as Beaudoin and Way became the first dart players from the NWT to win a national championship of some sort. They defeated a duo from Nova Scotia to seal the deal, Beaudoin checking out (finishing) on 155 in the clinching leg to win.
To say they were excited would be an understatement. Beaudoin grabbed Way in a bear hug and the two jumped around the stage – Beaudoin more than Way, perhaps – like giddy children.
Oh, and they still won’t be eligible for Team of the Year when the Sport North Awards come around this year. Darts isn’t an official territorial sports organization.
The only reason Beaudoin and Way are seeded ninth is because they lost the coin toss to Moss and the curlers. This should be a good match-up, though, when they meet.
No. 10 – 2016 Team North boys hockey team
We now turn to the teams who came oh-so-close and for that, it’s the 2016 Team North boys squad that won silver at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Mississauga, Ont., which starts this off.
It’s like this medal came from out of nowhere because neither the boys or girls teams had finished anywhere close to a medal game since the tournament began in 2002. But that was when all three territories played as separate entities. When permission was received in 2015 to pool the resources together, the North became one.
It took just one year for the fruits of that labour, if you will, to ripen as the boys went on some kind of run and while they eventually lost the gold medal game to B.C., it was something to behold and was the closest the North had come to winning a national hockey championship.
The boys get the nod as no. 10 because of the history of it all and making head coach Les Skinner a NWT hockey legend.
No. 11 – 1994 NWT junior boys curling team (Kevin Koe, Jamie Koe, Mark Whitehead, Kevin Whitehead)
Oh, that damned burned rock.
That’s the only thing a lot of people can remember about that championship game between the NWT and Alberta. Never mind that Kevin Koe and his rink of Jamie Koe, Mark Whitehead and Kevin Whitehead had the week of their lives and were on their way to winning the title in an extra end. Nope, Jamie got a bit too excited and nudged a rock before Kevin’s final rock came to rest.
In true Kevin Koe fashion, he was the one who pointed out his brother’s misgiving and because of that, Alberta was awarded the single to give them the title. Poor Jamie was a mess after the game and could you blame him?
Anyway, they’re in the Hall of Fame, as they should be, and are the no. 11 seed for this little tournament.
No. 12 – 1979 Yellowknife Junior Merchants softball team
The second of the Junior Merchants squads to make our list, this iteration managed to make it to the final of the 1979 Canadian Junior Men’s Fastpitch Championship in Richmond, B.C. Unlike the 1974 version, there would be no parade nor honour guard to come home to.
But they did come through a tough tournament and ended up in the final against North York Ponderosa Steak House from Ontario (remember Ponderosa?) and lost in extra innings. Several players from that team continued on to play in the Yk Fastball League and still call Yellowknife home such as Paul Gard, Andy Tereposky, Brent Hinchey and Rod Stirling. Stirling has the distinction of being on both the 1974 and 1979 editions of the Merchants, meaning he’s in the Hall of Fame twice.
The no. 12 seed comes from the fact that the Merchants have already won a title … nothing personal.
No. 13 – 2015 NWT mixed curling rink (Jamie Koe, Kerry Galusha, Robert Borden, Megan Cormier)
Curling happens to appear a lot on this list but that’s only because it’s the one sport where we’ve had the most success.
This was the year the NWT almost ended up at a world championship for curling as Jamie Koe skipped a rink consisting of his sister, Kerry Galusha, Robert Borden and Megan Cormier (now Koehler) to within one game of the gold medal at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, losing to Saskatchewan in the final. Had they won, they would have been the first Canadian team to play at the World Mixed Curling Championship.
As a side note, that Saskatchewan team included Chris Haichert and if you paid attention to the previous article, you would have seen his name somewhere.
You know something? I just realized Galusha will move on to round two no matter what because this team plays Team Galusha from 2018-2019. Smart money says Galusha will move on.
No. 14 – 2010 NWT Rebels women’s broomball team
Yes, the Rebels are in here twice owing to the fact that they won a bronze medal at the World Broomball Championships before winning gold four years later.
The ladies made the trip to Austria for the 2010 edition and finished in third place, beating fellow Canadian squad Wicked Ice by a score of 2-0 to do it. Jenny Crawford was the leading scorer in the women’s division with five goals and four assists for nine points while the Rebels as a unit ended up as the highest-scoring team with 15 goals.
Wouldn’t it be weird if both of these teams ended up meeting in the final? It can happen.
No. 15 – 2016 Yellowknife Coyotes mixed broomball team
This cast of characters ended up travelling to the World Broomball Championships in Regina in 2016 and ended up coming home with a bronze medal for their efforts.
It was an up-and-down tournament for the Coyotes as they ended up losing their opening game but then went on a four-game unbeaten streak before losing their next two. They would get into the playoffs and win their quarter-final game before getting hammered in the semifinal. After righting the ship in the bronze medal game, they would leave as the third-best mixed broomball side on the planet in 2016.
The Coyotes did lead the tournament in one category. Jeremy Ouillette ended up as the leading penalty-minute getter with 17. Not picking on him – just pointing out the statistic.
No. 16 – 2019 NWT mixed curling team (Jamie Koe, Kerry Galusha, David Aho, Megan Koehler)
Koe and company are the most recent entrants on this list and it’s all thanks to their bronze medal at the 2020 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in Quebec.
Don’t ask why they play the 2020 championship in 2019 … it’s just the way Curling Canada does things.
Anyway, Koe finished pool play atop his division and ended up in the championship round, where he would go on to finish tied for third and earn himself and his rink a semifinal against New Brunswick. They would fall in that but rebounded to beat Manitoba in the bronze medal game and finish third.
So there you are. Your 16 seeds for the Greatest Of All Time. Now, some of you did send in teams for consideration, such as Arctic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games teams. Allow me to explain why I didn’t include those:
We always do well at the Arctic Winter Games and any one of the hundreds of teams that represent the NWT at that could be included here. Don’t worry – I will be doing something for the AWG teams and I plan to incorporate the Canada Games and Western Canada Summer Games as well. It’s a great idea and you’ll like it, trust me.
This tournament is meant to crown those who did well in a one-off kind of way, a moment which brought great joy and honour to the NWT at a given time. We always get joy and success from Games.
And now for how you can vote:
The first match-up will appear in Friday’s Yellowknifer as well as on our website and social media. You can vote either by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice or by casting a vote on our Facebook page. The team which gets the most votes moves on – just that simple.
Voting will open up Monday morning at 9 a.m. and will continue through to Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Any vote received after 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday will not be counted. Match-ups will continue in each Friday edition of Yellowknifer and will appear online the day before voting opens so you know who you’ll be picking between.
In the case of a tie, it will be broken using the time-honoured tradition of a coin toss and yes, it will be shown so no one can claim I’m playing favourites.
The first match-up will feature the 2014 NWT Rebels broomball team against the 2019 mixed curling team that won bronze. Whoever gets the most votes moves on.