Playing for the Cup

Senators Cup committee member Korey Diehl hoists the Senators Cup outside the Art Hauser Centre. The tournament returns to the area this weekend. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Twelve teams from 12 First Nations will compete for the 2017 Senators Cup

The Prince Albert Grand Council Senators Cup is returning to the Art Hauser Centre this weekend and the stakes are higher than ever.

This year the 12 teams representing 12 First Nations are competing for $45,000 in prize money and awards, with the grand prize for the winning team up from $15,000 from last year to $20,000 this time around.

“When money like that is on the line we have a lot of these communities supporting their clubs and bringing the best talent possible,” said Korey Diehl, Senators Cup committee member and silver medallist with the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) Stars.

This year the Red Pheasant Rebels are back to defend their title. Challenging the returning champions are the Ile-a-la-Crosse Halfsons, PBCN Stars, Canoe Lake Young Guns, Ochapowace Thunder, Sandy Lake Chiefs, Beardy’s Blackhawks, Stanley Mission River Hawks, Mistawasis Warriors, Buffalo Narrows, Whitefish and Sandy Bay.

“We’re just looking forward to showcasing all the talented aboriginal players in Western Canada that are coming back for this year’s tournament,” Diehl said.

“Some of these guys have played in professional hockey league clubs, anywhere from the American Hockey League to East Coast Hockey League to over in Europe.”

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