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St. Patrick’s Day silver for Tier 5 final hosts, U11 Elk Point Avalanche

The Elk Point Avalanche hosted the final U11 Tier 5 tournament from March 15 to 17 at the A. G. Ross Arena.
Elk Point U11 Avalanche proudly displayed their silver medals after a challenging weekend of competition at the NEAHL U11 Tier 5 Championship Tournament in Elk Point.

ELK POINT – The Elk Point Avalanche hosted the final U11 Tier 5 tournament from March 15 to 17 at the A. G. Ross Arena. 

There are 21 teams in the U11 Tier 5 league and it all came down to three left: the Avalanche, the East Division winners, CNN Spurs, the Central Division winners and Drayton Valley Grizzlies, the West Division winners. The format would be double knockout. Each team would play each other once then the winner of the round robin would have to be defeated twice. The Avalanche won the round robin quite easily defeating CNN 6 to 1 on Friday night and then Drayton Valley 9 to 1 on Saturday morning, sending them to the final on Sunday morning.

Jase ‘The Jackal’ Malo did most of the damage on Friday night when he scored five of the goals, Stetson ‘Shack’ Reynolds with a goal and two assists, Grayson ‘Big Bang’ Koppang, Aspyn ‘Machine Gun Kelly’ and Mikey ‘The Beast’ L’Heureux with the assists.

Saturday morning it was ‘Shack’s’ turn to shine, he scored a hat trick, ‘The Jackal’ added two goals, ‘The Beast’, Christian ‘Bones.0’ Yaremkevich and ‘Jumbo Jay’ Large scored one goal each, Teraleigh ‘Tear Bear’ Nepoose-Gadwa, ‘Big Bang’, ‘Machine Gun Kelly’ and Dax ‘My Boy’ Bowman with the assists.

But the luck of the Irish wasn’t with the Avalanche on this St. Patrick’s Day Sunday morning. Quite the opposite, it would seem. Every time the Avalanche would get on a breakaway the Spurs would stop them in their tracks at the blue line. The Spurs coaches must have done their homework, or if the Avalanche did penetrate the defense and get a shot, they would miss over the net or go wide. The CNN Spurs would win the first game 7 to 1 and the second game 6 to 2.

‘The Jackal’ scored in the first game, assisted by ‘Bones’. “Big Bang’ and “Machine Gun Kelly’ scored in the second game, ‘The Beast’ with an assist. Goalie ‘General Lee Barstad stood on his head in both games, facing 40 shots in the first one and 39 in the second game.

Maybe it was nerves or over confidence, since they won the games easily before. But don’t forget, these are just nine and 10-year-old kids. And to CNN Spurs’ credit, they played really well and deserved to win. They defeated the Avalanche not just once on Sunday, but twice to take the league banner.

A big shout out to the tournament committee, coaches and parents for going the extra mile, putting on one of the best league finals I have ever attended.

And more good news from that weekend – the U18 Avalanche will be going to the Provincial finals on Easter weekend in Mallaig after defeating Westlock in the best of three games to win the Tier 3 league.

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