Knights take consolation title in Brandon

From beginning to end, Mark McCaig would have been hard pressed to be happier.
“That was our best performance all year,” said the head coach of his Fort Frances PeeWee “AA” Knights hockey team’s effort at the 12-team Brandon Tournament of Champions last weekend, where they captured the consolation championship and finished with a 4-1-1 record.
“That’s the first time this season we’ve played consistently throughout a tournament.”
The squad was thrown into the fire right off the bat against the Prairie Storm, which McCaig said is considered the best PeeWee “AA” team in Saskatchewan this year.
The Storm led 3-2 heading into the third, but powerplay goals by Josh Scott and Kyle Turgeon in the final frame helped the Knights pull off a 4-4 tie.
Jordan Davis and Kevin Bobczynski had the other markers for Fort Frances, while goalie Ryan Faragher picked up player-of-the-game honours for his outstanding work between the pipes, as the Knights were outshot 44-16 in the contest.
Fort Frances thumped the Moose Mountain Wild 5-2 in their second outing, with Davis posting two goals and two assists to lead the way. Cody McCool also had a pair, while Kyle Herr added a goal and an assist.
The following morning, the Thunder Bay PeeWee “AAA” Kings made short work of the Knights in a 7-2 victory. But McCaig felt the chief whistle blower for the game should have been called for obstruction.
“We had a little problem with the referee,” the bench boss stated delicately about a game which saw the Knights wind up with 30 penalty minutes to only eight for the Kings.
“We didn’t feel we got a chance to play them even up. When we weren’t shorthanded, we took it to them.”
Davis and Herr had the only goals for the Knights, who trailed 3-0 after the first and never recovered.
With a bitter taste still fresh in their mouths, Fort Frances unloaded their frustrations on the Regina Kings with a 10-6 victory in their fourth contest.
Trailing 4-3 after the first, the Knights’ offence ignited for five goals in the second to blow the game open. Luke Judson, Bobczynski and Herr (two goals apiece), along with Mitchell Cain (one goal), each had four points to pace Fort Frances.
Davis, Taylor Jorgenson, and Mike McCaig chipped in with a goal each, as the Knights outshot Regina 55-34.
The avalanche of goals continued in a 9-5 win over the Dauphin (Man.) Kings, with Judson picking up a hat trick in the victory.
Davis and Bobczynski each scored twice, with Herr and Turgeon adding singles.
In the consolation final, a three-goal outburst by Fort Frances in the first five minutes of the second period was the turning point, as the Knights doubled the Brandon Wheat Kings 8-4.
Jorgenson and Turgeon, who had two goals in the game, tallied in the opening 20 minutes to send the teams to the dressing room deadlocked at 2-2. But Bobczynski got things rolling early in the middle stanza, scoring at the 59-second mark and was followed 19 seconds later by the first of two in a row by Davis.
Bobczynski scored again late in the second, and completed his hat trick in the third to round out a five-point night, while Davis and Herr (all assists) had four points each.
McCaig was impressed by the high calibre of hockey from not only his own troops, but those of the Knights’ opponents throughout the weekend.
“I saw some players in this tournament that I made sure I remembered their names,” he noted. “They’re going to end up being very high-level players one day.”
Fort Frances now gets a break from tournament action until the end of next month, when they will attend a competition in Winnipeg.