IROQUOIS FALLS – The Manitoulin Panthers peewee B rep team is hot off a Tournament of Champions win. The team had three wins and one tie going into championship play Sunday, clinching the trophy in a win over Cochrane.
There were five teams in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association tournament from around the North: Iroquois Falls, Cochrane, West Nipissing, North Bay and, of course, Manitoulin, coach Scot Hughson told The Expositor.
“It was round-robin play and we had three wins and one tie going into Sunday,” Mr. Hughson said. “We played Iroquois Falls again Sunday morning, beating them 4-2. We then played Cochrane in the championship game with a 3-0 win.”
The Panthers had an impressive 29 goals and nine against in the tournament.
“The kids were amazing,” Coach Hughson said. “This (tournament) is a stepping stone for the end of the month and our playoff tournament. Thanks to Iroquois Falls minor hockey for hosting an awesome tournament. We all enjoyed ourselves tremendously, and the NOHA for all their efforts.”
Mr. Hughson also praised the family and friends who cheered them on from afar. “These (messages) were very special to us all.”
“Our season overall is going fantastic,” the coach added, noting their final regular season game is this week.
The end-of-month tournament will see the Panthers face off against the other top-rated teams: Nickel City Sharks and the Nickel City Jr. Sons. The Panthers are currently ranked third.
“It’s going to be very exciting—everybody has beaten everybody,” Mr. Hughson explained.
“I’m very proud of the kids,” the coach added. “They all played so well this season.”