The 32nd Annual Cree Senior Hockey and Broomball Tournament took place in Val-d’Or, Senneterre and Barraute December 6-9, and this year it was a record breaker. An all-time high of 83 teams took part, competing in five hockey categories and two broomball categories for prize money totalling over $100,000.
In the Class A Hockey Division, the Moose Factory Scrappers returned after being away for a year, and they did not disappoint, going undefeated throughout the tournament to once again bring home the championship banner. In the final, the Scrappers knocked off a tough Algonquin Raging Bulls squad by a score of 4-2, on the strength of two goals by tournament MVP Carlo Metatawabin, with an insurance marker added by Thomas Moore, who also led the tourney in scoring with six goals and two assists.
The Class B1 Hockey final saw a showdown between two undefeated teams, each of which reached the final playing very different hockey. The Waswanipi Drummers romped their way to the final, scoring a tournament-high 23 goals, including first-round blowouts of Nemaska, Washaw Siibi and Oujé-Bougoumou. In fact, the Drummers did not give up a goal in the playoff round until they faced the Pikogan Maikan, who reached the final playing tight, low-scoring hockey. Pikogan’s discipline paid off, as they jumped out to an early 3-0 over Waswanipi, hanging on for a 3-2 victory and championship honours.
Cedric Boutin of Pikogan took home Class B1 MVP honours, while Jonathan Gauthier of the Manawan Jets led all scorers with three goals and six assists for nine points.
The Class B2 Hockey Category included an amazing 18 teams this year, with eight teams moving on to the playoff round, including five teams that entered the playoffs undefeated. The
final was a surprisingly low-scoring affair between two high-scoring clubs, the Winneway Hawks and Lac Simon Team2. Lac Simon eliminated an early Hawks lead, coming from behind to claim the Class B2 banner by a score of 3-1.
While it was Winneway and Lac Simon Team2 that filled the net throughout the tourney, the leading scorer in Class B2 was Steven Boudrias of the Whapmagoostui Whalers, with eight goals and two assists. MVP honours were claimed by Charlot Penosway of Lac Simon.
Nine teams battled for supremacy in the Old Timers Hockey Division, with the final game again being a match-up of undefeated teams. Mistissini enjoyed a fairly road to the final, but it was a local squad of Val-d’Or Old Timers that claimed the championship banner with a 4-0 victory over Mistissini.
Another Moore from Moose Factory – this time Jeff Moore – led all Old Timers in scoring with nine goals and three assists, while Val-d’Or’s Tommy Paradis was named tournament MVP.
In Women’s Hockey, it was another local team, the Val-d’Or Power, that took home top honours, as they won in convincing fashion, defeating the Wemindji Lady Wolves by a score of 7-1. It was a tough loss for the Lady Wolves, who had their struggles in the qualifying round, but came on strong with scrappy wins over teams from Waskaganish and Mistissini to make it to the final.
Sara Morrison, who last season played with University of Ottawa after a season in the NCAA, took home Top Defenceman honours for the Lady Wolves. However, other categories were dominated by the Val-d’Or Power, as Manon Deschesne led all women in scoring with seven points, and Belinda Dumont, who scored two goals and an assist in the final, was named Womens Hockey MVP.
In Open Women’s Broomball, the Waskaganish Starlites continue to show why they are among the best teams in the game, as they outscored their opponents by a combined 23-3 en route to a low-scoring victory in the final over the Wemindji Ice Stars, taking home the banner by a score of 2-1.
Not surprisingly, the Starlites and Ice Stars split the tournament honours, with the Starlites’ Martina Cowboy being named MVP and Wemindji’s Monica Visitor leading all scorers with four goals and five assists. Waskaganish’s Elizabeth Hester and Elaine Hester were named Best Forward and Best Goalie, respectively, while Wemindji’s Roxanne Hughboy took home Best Defenceman honours.
In Women’s Recreational Broomball, the Lac Simon Lakers played Cinderella, recovering from a winless qualifying round in the tournament. Entering the playoffs as a long-shot seventh seed, the Lakers cranked out three straight wins, knocking off the first place Kitcisakik Ice Queens in the final by a score of 2-1.
Nancy Papatie led the way for the Lakers, taking home both Top Scorer and MVP awards, in addition to the Lakers’ championship banner.