Gunners, Sting, Team O’Keefe, Billy Bobs, Browns, Coyotes and Frayne Flyers won bragging rights for a year this past weekend.
Those seven teams won their respective divisions in the annual Al Kennedy Memorial No-Body Contact tournament, sponsored by St. Marys Minor Hockey Association. It’s a popular event that’s been held for almost 30 years now, dating back to 1985.
Twenty-six teams played a total of 47 games over two days in the SMMHA fundraiser. Each year, the divisions are named after SMMHA Life Members.
Rob Kittmer was again tournament convener, and once again he and his wife Laurie did an outstanding job keeping things running smoothly. They spent many hours at the PRC on the weekend.
In the seven championship games Saturday afternoon, four of them were decided by just one goal--and one game went to sudden-death overtime.
In the Skipper final, a second-half goal by Jason Brodeur lifted Gunners to a 4-3 victory over the undefeated Tsunami. It was Brodeur’s second of the game. Jason Skipper scored the other two Gunners’ goals.
Dan Ryan, Reg Clinton and Ray Cousineau replied for Tsunami.
The teams were deadlocked 3-3 after the first period.
In round-robin play the previous day, Cousineau’s goal—with just five seconds left to play—lifted Tsunami to a 2-1 victory over the Gunners.
The two teams had tied 3-3 earlier in the day. But on Saturday afternoon, four second-half goals powered Sting to a 6-3 win over Whalers in the McLellan final.
James (Louie) Robinson paced the Sting with two goals, while the singles came off the sticks of Chris Holmes, Owen Penney, Brandon Boyd and Tristan Dundas.
Boyd’s goal with 5:34 remaining snapped a 3-3 tie. Robinson and Dundas tacked on late insurance markers for the Sting.
In the Ferris (Stewart) final for the 50-and-over squads, Team O’Keefe emerged with a wild 4-3 overtime win over Team MacKay.
Jim Wilson’s shorthanded breakaway goal at 1:07 of overtime lifted Team O’Keefe to a thrilling victory. The goal just seconds after Team MacKay missed on a glorious powerplay chance.
Steve Coulthard, Scott Graham and Brian Hodgins scored for Team O’Keefe in regulation time. Henry Groenestege, Reid Dundas and John Little answered for Team MacKay.
Wilson’s overtime winner was his third point of the game. Pat Payton assisted.
Two of Ferris’s sons—Don and Allan Stewart—were members of the winning squad this year.
Three teams—Team O’Keefe, Team MacKay and Team Cousineau—finished with 2-1 records. In goals-differential, Team Cousineau lost out by one goal of reaching the final.
In the Martin final, it was all Billy Bobs as they skated to a 4-0 victory over the Tangerines.
Scoring for Billy Bobs, who built a 3-0 first-half lead, were Brian Binning, Chet Binning, Dan Graul and Jess Walt.
The win gave Billy Bobs a perfect 4-0 record for the weekend. They allowed just three goals against in their four games.
In the McPhail final, three second-half goals sealed a 4-0 victory for Browns over the Boars Head Bruins. Two of the goals came just 17 seconds apart.
Ben Douglas, Nic Larsen, Darryl Eckert and Tim Vosper scored for Browns. Vosper also collected three assists.
Browns finished the weekend with a 3-0-1 record.
Two second-half goals gave the Coyotes a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Hansen Bros. in the Schiedel Division final.
Reg Clinton’s powerplay goal with 4:58 to play snapped a 1-1 tie.
With goalie Curtis Gricken pulled for an extra attacker, the Hansen gang had a couple of great chances in the final minute, but the puck stayed out.
Josh Becken had given Hansens a 1-0 first-period lead. Jaden Ropp tied it for the Coyotes in the first minute of the second half.
Both goalies, Gricken and Craig Murrell, played well for their respective teams. Coyotes also finished the weekend with a 4-0 record.
The Mitchell final to wind up the weekend was also an intense battle.
Scott Frayne’s goal with 2:25 to play broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Frayne (family) Flyers a 3-2 win over the Pyramid Power (the 1987-88 Cement Midget All-Ontario champs).
Jared Frayne scored the other two goals for the Flyers, who led 2-1 at the halfway mark.
Mark Reid and Dan Schiedel replied for the Pyramid Power.
The win gave the Frayne squad a 4-0 record for the second straight year. Frayne was the last name of eight players on the Flyers’ team.
--Frayne Flyers, Gunners and the Sting were all repeat winners.
--In a fun game Friday afternoon, the former Dixies women’s team doubled the Midget Alumni girls team 6-3.
Dixies, coached by Sandy Fifield and Donna Greer, built an early 3-0 lead. Bill McPhail and Denise Gibson ran the Midget Alumni bench.
--The first NBC tournament was held to help raise money for a Cement Midgets’ hockey team trip to Sweden. It’s now three decades and counting.