T’hawks named Ontario champs
Despite falling short of the Allan Cup crown in Kenora back in April, the Fort Frances Thunderhawks were rewarded for their semi-final showing at the national senior men’s hockey championship.
The T’hawks were awarded the Gary Cook Trophy and a banner for being the top senior hockey squad in Northwestern Ontario at a ceremony earlier this month, which they earned courtesy of eliminating the Kenora Thistles in the quarter-finals of the Allan Cup.
“There’s kind of a mixed feeling for me about this, to be honest,” admitted Thunderhawks’ manager Dean Bruyere.
“Obviously, it’s nice to win these trophies and get the accolades, but it’s been different with the process on how they came about,” he remarked.
The T’hawks and Thistles originally were slated to hold a best-of-five series in March to determine the Gary Cook Trophy winner. But after not receiving full support from Hockey Northwestern Ontario, the teams elected not to square off.
“After the Allan Cup happened, we found out that we took the title,” Bruyere noted.
“It’s not something that I went to them [HNO] and demanded that we get, plus I assumed that Dundas would take the Renwick Cup title after winning the crown down in southern Ontario.
“So to get both of these honours, I think, really says a lot about our team and what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Bruyere stressed.
As for next season, just who the Thunderhawks will square off against in regional play remains up in the air at this point after the Thistles disbanded at the beginning of June.
But Bruyere said there’s talk of Kenora having a senior men’s team once again, along with Thunder Bay possibly returning after the Twins went on hiatus last season.