Bantam Pirates home tournament cancelled

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Venice House Pirates forward Matthew Henry makes a move in front of Yorkton Terriers goaltender Michael Malinowski at the Kinsmen Arena this past season.

One of the top showcase events for Bantam AA hockey teams in the province will not be taking place this year.

The annual tournament hosted by the Prince Albert Venice House Pirates, which was scheduled to be held from Dec. 6-9, has been cancelled due to a lack of entries.

“It’s unfortunate for sure, but we’ve noticed that the numbers for the event have been dwindling for some time now,” Pirates head coach Shawn Phaneuf said.

“There are still tournaments that draw around that time of year, but ours hasn’t.”

With the cancellation of their home event, the Pirates will have only competed at two showcase tournaments this year, as they took part in the Graham Tuer Bantam AA Challenge Tournament in Regina in October and the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds Tournament earlier this month.

However, it does give them some time off to rest up any wounds before they gear up for the second half of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League campaign.

“After two games this week, we’ll have some to heal up before we play five games in the span of eight days before Christmas,” Phaneuf said.

“It will be good to heal up any injuries that we have, but we’ll also have some rust we’ll need to work off in practice.”

The Pirates have a 4-5-1-1 record are currently in a tie for seventh place in the league standings with the Battlefords Barons and the Warman Wildcats.

They will play host to the Saskatoon Generals Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre, which will be followed by an 8 p.m. contest at the Kinsmen Arena Wednesday against the Humboldt Broncos.