Beardy’s Midget AAA action ends in 3-3- tie

AND THE WINNER IS: Richard Gladue was the lucky winner of a brand new truck courtesy of PineRidge Ford in Meadow Lake. Both the truck and a 50-50 prize were awarded following a yearlong raffle to raise money for the newly constructed arena at Flying Dust First Nation. More than 400 fans packed the arena Dec. 13 to witness midget AAA action between the Battleford Stars and the Beardy’s Blackhawks. Between periods, Battleford player Robin Yew (pictured here) drew the winning ticket. The winner of the 50-50 draw was Danny Mantyka.

AND THE WINNER IS: Richard Gladue was the lucky winner of a brand new truck courtesy of PineRidge Ford in Meadow Lake. Both the truck and a 50-50 prize were awarded following a yearlong raffle to raise money for the newly constructed arena at Flying Dust First Nation. More than 400 fans packed the arena Dec. 13 to witness midget AAA action between the Battleford Stars and the Beardy’s Blackhawks. Between periods, Battleford player Robin Yew (pictured here) drew the winning ticket. The winner of the 50-50 draw was Danny Mantyka.

by Terry Villeneuve

Fast-paced hockey was ordered, and what  fans got was a close, end-to-end entertaining hockey game.

Last Thursday, the Beardy’s Blackhawks and the Battleford’s Stars clashed in a neutral-site AAA Midget hockey game at PineRidge Ford Place on Flying Dust First Nation. The game ended in a 3-3- draw.

“This is just absolutely amazing,” said newly elected Flying Dust chief Robert Merasty following the second intermission. “It’s a well-played, clean, disciplined and well-coached hockey game. It looks like this Beardy’s team is putting more effort in our barn to show that they can be competitive.”

This year, Battleford’s club is much higher up in the standings than Beardy’s – Battleford is ranked fourth while Beardy’s is at the bottom of the 12-team league.

Three northwest-area players – Colton Iron, Regan Yew and Robin Yew – participated in the game, which had fans drive several hours to see them play.

Seven-year-old Hayden Coulineur of Canoe Lake Cree Nation made the two-hour trek along with about another 50 people from his area to watch 15-year-old Colton, who is also from Canoe Lake.

“I follow him and his team on the Internet,” said Coulineur, who travels weekly to play with the Meadow Lake Novice Stampeders.

Regan Yew, a high flying forward from Ile-a-la Crosse, had one assist in the game to add to his team-leading 22 points. He as also voted Battleford’s player of the game.

“It was a tough tie tonight,” said the third-year player following the game. “We’re a much better team than what we showed tonight – we just weren’t as consistent as we have been.”

Despite the tie, Regan, along with his twin brother Robin, were pleased to see so many family and friends at the game.

“Our whole family came to watch,” Regan said.

Battleford opened the scoring at the 16:26 mark of the first period, but 10 minutes later on the powerplay, Beardy’s knotted the score 1-1. In the middle frame, Battleford again took the lead, only to have Beardy’s tie it up 2-2 at the end of the second. Midway through the third, Battleford scored the go-ahead 3-2 goal while on the powerplay, but Beardy’s, with only 1:03 remaining in the game, surprised the Battleford goaltender with a shorthanded effort to end regulation time 3-3. A five-minute, sudden death, four-on-four period was played, but resulted in no goals. Both teams picked up a point in the game.

Battleford coach Martin Smith admitted his team struggled throughout the game.

“We had a pretty good start, but for seven or eight minutes there late in the first, we allowed Beardy’s to get some momentum,” he said. “That got us away from our game plan, but give credit to them (Beardy’s), they worked hard tonight.”

Smith also said he looks to the Yew brothers for leadership.

“Robin, he’s our anchor on defence, and leads by example and Regan is one of those guys you want out there when the game’s on the line,” Smith noted. “They both are good, disciplined hockey players and team players and that is why they both have a letter on their sweater. Robin’s our captain and Regan’s one of our assistant captains.”

Smith is confident the Yews have a bright hockey future ahead of them.

“I expect them both to play junior next year.”

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