Senator’s Cup this weekend

Jason Kerr/Daily Herald Red Pheasant Rebels forward Jamie Wuttanee tries to bang home a rebound in front of Norway House Bruins goaltender Edward Albert Jr. during Senator’s Cup action at the Art Hauser Centre last year.

When the Senator’s Cup started five years ago, a total of eight teams competed for the title.

As this year’s tournament gets underway Friday, it will feature their most competitors in their five-year run as 12 teams will vie for the $20,000 grand prize and the tournament trophy.

“It’s just been getting bigger and better each year and we’ve seen a number of the same teams take part in the event,” said Prince Albert Grand Council sports recreation and culture coordinator Tami McKenzie, who is also the organizer for the tournament.”

The double-knockout event gets underway at 3 p.m. Friday with Onion Lake Border Chiefs taking on the Canoe Lake Young Guns, while the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Stars will go up against the Ile-A-La-Crosse Halfsons at 4:15 p.m.

Friday’s other opening round contests will see the Ochapawace Thunder play the Whitefish Flyers at 5:30 p.m. and the defending tournament champion Red Pheasant Rebels will face the Sandy Lake Chiefs at 6:45 p.m.

The Beardy’s Blackhawks, Norway House Bruins, Stanley Mission Riverhawks and Red Earth all open up their schedules Saturday.

“The teams love being a part of the event,” McKenzie said.

“It’s a way to honour our senator’s and all of those who made a difference before us. It seemed like celebrating through sport was the best way to do that, and that’s proven to be the case.”

The tournament, which will conclude with the final at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, will have all of their games take place at the Art Hauser Centre.

Tickets for each day cost $10 at the door, with a tournament pass costing $25.

Kids that five years old or under and those that are aged 65 and over can enter the games for free.

For more information on the tournament, contact McKenzie at 306-981-5630.