Black Friday. It’s all about Shopping and American Thanks Giving.
In Thunder Bay, it’s also one of the biggest travel Hockey Tournament weekends around. Many Minor Hockey teams head to all points on the compass to compete this past weekend. Of course, there was still a little shopping on the side. In fact this year Minnesota tourney organizers scheduled round-robin games around Black Friday’s matinee NHL Wild vs Winnipeg game at the Xcel Energy Centre. The Westfort Maroons Peewee A team were treated to a Wild organizations custom tour as special guests of the Wild. It didn’t hurt any that hometown boy Eric Staal would pot the winning goal in a thrilling come-back 3rd period.
Minneapolis hosts several tournaments at the same time around Blaine, Chaska/Chanhassen and Hopkins arenas.
At the mega 8 rink plex Schwan Centre, the Mounts View youth hockey Association hosted their annual Thanksgiving Tourney:
• Bantam A. Thunder Bay Beavers took 2nd place while the Bantam A West End Bruins tied their consolation game with Edina Green
• In Peewee AA play the West End Bruins won the 3rd place in a 3-2 win over Rosemount, with AA Sabers tying their consolation game 2 all with Wayzata.
• Atom AA topped the Thunder Bay teams round out with an epic double-overtime win for the KC Sabers over eventual 2nd place Westfort Maroons in 2-1 final score. Westfort Rangers strolled into 3rd place with a lopsided 10-0 shutout over the Blaine team.
Over at the Hopkins Minnesota tourney – our NorWest Stars Atom AA team brought home Bronze 3rd place Champs hardware with an 8-1 final score.
In nearby Chaska-Chanhassen, hosts of the 31st annual Brick City Classic tournament, Thunder Bay teams had another dominant showing:
• In Peewee A play, Westfort Rangers brought home the top prize in a battle with 2nd place Thunder Bays Elks in a 4-0 game.
• Atom AA Neebing Hawks won their division over CCHA Purple in a close 3-2 win.
• Atom A winners Westfort Maroons won in an 8-4 Championship game as Neebing Atom A Hawks brought home Bronze in there shutout 8-0 3rd place final game.
• The KC Atom A Whalers won the Minneapolis cup Squirt C division against a team from Stillwater,MN in the finals. They won 5-4 in sudden death overtime.
Meanwhile on this side of the Redline at the Fort Frances tourney:
Thunder Bay's Current River Comets brought home the Midget A Championship medals in a 2-1 win as they scored in the last 30 seconds of play after a strategic time-out was called.
Not to be out-done, in Dryden the Westfort Rangers Peewee AA brought home Silver with their Championship game against Fort Frances Canadians.
Apparently, not even 30 per cent on the dollar can subdue the Thunder Bay team’s quest for Championship hockey competition.
Well done to all Thunder Bay Minor hockey teams for your competitive spirit.