LITTLE CURRENT—It was a busy weekend at the Little Current Recreation Centre, with 25 teams participating in the Manitoulin Tourism Association (MTA) 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament and Skills Competition.
“We were really pleased with the turnout, 25 teams, 250 kids—it was terrific,” said event organizer Greg Lockeyer. “We had one team from Lively and 24 Manitoulin teams. It was getting down to the registration deadline and we were worried, but a lot of teams came forward in the end and we were pleased to be able to run the tournament. We even had some Sudbury teams contact us last week who had just found out about it and wanted to get in.”
The MTA received $28,900 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) as seed money to establish and host the tournament.
Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha was present for the tournament and noted to the players and their families, “an event like this would not be successful without you.”
“The OTF recognizes the need for community events,” said Mr. Mantha. “Events like this tournament and skills competition are the heartbeat of communities.”
OTF Algoma, Cochrane, Manitoulin and Sudbury (ACMS) Grant Review Team member Lisa Addison noted that hockey is a large part of Manitoulin. She said that while growing up, she attended a tournament in Mindemoya and was one of the only girls there. “I’m so proud to see so many girls here this weekend,” she said.
Ms. Addison and Mr. Mantha presented MTA Director of Operations Shelba Millette with a plaque, recognizing the MTA as an OTF grant recipient.
In a special ceremony at the tournament, the MTA presented Larry Leblanc with a lifetime achievement award.
“Larry has been a big contributor to hockey as a whole on Manitoulin,” said Mr. Lockeyer. “We just wanted to recognize everything that he has done for not just rep hockey, but minor hockey on the Island as well.”
The tournament ran from last Thursday to Sunday and included a skills competition Saturday evening.
“We had some great hockey throughout the weekend,” said Mr. Lockeyer. “You could really see all the teams come together as they got to know the rules of 3 on 3 and by the playoff games and championship games Sunday, it was a great caliber of hockey.”
In the tyke division championship game, the Lil Shot Disturbers took on the Wiky Jr. T-Birds with the Lil Shot Disturbers taking the win 10-3.
The novice champs were The Cheetahs with a 5-1 win over the North Channel Sharks, while the Wiky Jr. T-Birds took home the atom trophy, beating the Island Haweaters 6-1.
The Wiky Hawks were named the peewee champions after defeating JK Automotive Island Storm 4-3 and Matt’s Plumbing from Lively won the bantam division, with a final score against the Manitoulin Puck Hogs 8-1.
The Midget winners were King’s Crushers who defeated the AOK Eagles 6-5.
Legendary NHL hockey player Reggie Leach was on hand Sunday afternoon to present trophies and medals to the winning teams and the winners of the skills competition.
For the skills competition, the winners in the tyke division were: fastest skater, Kaci Lariviere of the Wiky Jr. T-Birds; obstacle course, Roen Deschenese of the Lil Shot Disturbers; one-on-one breakaway, Sean Simon of the Wiky Hawks; top goalie, Bryn Best, Wiky Jr. T-Birds; and four person team, Lil Shot Disturbers No. 2.
The winners in the novice division were: fastest skater, Mya Balfe of the Cheetahs; obstacle course, Madison McArville of the Cheetahs; one-on-one breakaway, Keynan Bowerman of the North Channel Sharks; top goalie, Alesha Beam of the North Channel Sharks; and four person team relay, the Cheetahs.
In the atom division the winners were: fastest skater, Annie Balfe of the Wiky Jr. T-Birds; one-on-one breakaway, Cameron Johns of M’Chigeeng; top goalie, Andrew Cooper of the Wiky Jr. T-Birds and Eric Vanier of Island Storm; accurate shot, T. J. Green of Island Storm; hardest shot, Aiden Case of the Wiky Jr. T-Birds; and four person team relay, the Wiky Jr. T-Birds.
The peewee division winners were: fastest skater, Ronnie Peltier of the Wiky Hawks; one-on-one breakaway, Kaleb Genereux of JK Auto Island Storm; top goalie, Julien Wemigwans of the Wiky Hawks; accurate shot, Ethan Dey of the Manitoulin Wolves; hardest shot, Dustin of the Wiky Hawks; and four person team relay, JK Automotive Island Storm.
The bantam division winners were: fastest skater, Austin Purvis of the Manitoulin Puck Hogs; one-on-one breakaway, Nick Purvis of the Manitoulin Puck Hogs; top goalie, Aaron Recollet of the Wiky Hawks; accurate shot, Jake Robinson of the Chiefs; and four person team relay, Manitoulin Puck Hogs.
Lastly, the midget division winners were: fastest skater, Charlie Dow of the Black Cadillacs; one-on-one breakaway, Alex Smith of the Black Cadillacs; top goalie, Ashton Kozeyah of the AOK Eagles; accurate shot, Bryce Draper of the Gore Bay Leafs; hardest shot, Levi Morrison of the AOK Eagles; and four person team relay, the AOK Eagles.
The profits of the 50/50 draw will go to the Mindemoya Minor Hockey Association who organized it, while the entry and door prize table will go towards Manitoulin Minor Hockey. The registration will go towards the cost overruns and towards next year’s tournament, explained Ms. Millette.
“Saturday afternoon I was up there and there wasn’t an empty parking spot it was so busy,” said MTA Treasurer Stan Ferguson. “Shelba and her volunteers put in countless hours and the tournament went off very well. It was a nice way to end the season.”
“I want to thank all the volunteers, my board and all who took part in making this weekend such a great experience,” said Ms. Millette. “It was great to see so many smiling kids just having fun on and off the ice. Greg Lockyer did a great job coordinating all the officials and scheduling. Greg made sure everything ran smoothly and deserves credit for going the extra mile or two. I hope to see everyone again next year.”