Warriors go undefeated in tourney

By Terry Villeneuve

The novice division of the Meadow Lake Minor Hockey Association hosted eight teams in a three-day novice tournament last weekend on Flying Dust at PineRidge Ford Place.

“It was a fun weekend and it’s something we haven’t been able to do in Meadow Lake for a lot of years because of the arena shortages we’ve experienced,” said Curtis Paylor, coach of the Meadow Lake Warriors, who were crowned the champions Sunday afternoon. “It was nice to see that out-of-town people were able to spend nights in our hotels and help our restaurants stay busy.”

Winning all five games, the Warriors bested the four teams in their pool by outscoring the opposition 37-3. They recorded their first win on Friday, a 7-1 victory of their rival Meadow Lake Canucks.

The next day they had a tougher contest when the Warriors met Lloydminster Royal Well Servicing. However, with some strong offense and outstanding goaltending, the Warriors were victorious 6-2. Later in the day the Warriors walked all over the Cold Lake squad, winning 24-0.

Montana Graham of the Warriors reaches for the puck during Saturday's 6-2 win over Lloydminster Royal Well Servicing.

In the playoffs, the Warriors, who finished first in their pool, played the second-place team (Kerrobert) in the other pool in one semi-final matchup. The Warriors had too much firepower and in the end doubled up the Kerrobert team 6-3 to advance. In the championship final, the Warriors again met the Lloydminster Royal Well Servicing team and again it was the same outcome as their previous confrontation, a 6-2 decision in favour of Meadow Lake.

Paylor noted his players worked hard all weekend.

“And as a coach, that’s all you can ask for,” he said of the seven and eight-year-old players. “It was a team effort and the kids had a lot of fun.”

Paylor noted the highlight from the weekend was that all his players received game awards.

“After every game a Hustle award and MVP award was given out,” he said. “We were able to play enough games in the tournament that everyone was able to get one. It was great to see that they were all recognized individually for their efforts in the game.”

Other teams in the tournament included Meadow Lake Canucks, Meadow Lake Warriors, Cold Lake, Kerrobert, Leoville, Lloydminster Auto Body and Lloydminster Royal Well Servicing.

In STEP action the Meadow Lake Warriors have finished their league play and are first in the East Division with nine wins and two losses for 18 points. Leoville is right behind at eight wins and one tie for 17 points, but have two games at hand and could take over first with just one win.

“With the league play wrapped up, we’ll be attending tournaments before the playoffs begin,” added Paylor.

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