For the second consecutive year, the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) Stars are bringing home a Senators Cup championship.
The Stars didn’t drop a game throughout the tournament, starting with victories over the Sandy Lake Chiefs and Stanley Mission Riverhawks on Friday, before punching their ticket to the Sunday final with wins over Beardy’s Blackhawks and the Norway House Bruins on Saturday.
Stars captain Cody Michelle says staying on the “A” side of the bracket was critical to keep fresh.
“In a hockey tournament bracket like this, if you lose you are playing twice as many games. Our main focus was obviously to win every game. Canoe Lake played six games today. This is not our first time being here and we know what it takes to win.”
In the final, PBCN matched up against the Canoe Lake Young Guns, who were playing in their sixth game of the day after blitzing their way through the ‘B’ side of the tournaments bracket. Canoe Lake had played at 8 a.m. against White Fish, 12:30 p.m. against Round Lake, 3:30 p.m. against the Crosslake Islanders and at 8 p.m. against the Norway House Bruins.
The Stars would get off to a strong start with a trio of goals in the opening frame to take a lead they would never relinquish.
PBCN would add three more goals in the second period to take a commanding 6-2 advantage. The Stars would bring the tournament’s seven goal mercy rule into effect with 11:52 to go in the third period securing the 9-2 victory and their second consecutive championship.
Michelle says it was a great experience to play in front of a packed Art Hauser Centre in the championship game.
“There are some guys that came from the North that didn’t play too much hockey in the WHL or NHL. And we all come here to work together and our families all over Saskatchewan come to watch us play hockey, especially in a nice rink. So we’re all happy and proud about that.”
The Stars will play in the Fred Sasakamoose Chief Thunderstick tournament in Saskatoon from May 18-21.