Annual tourney sees biggest draw

Twenty teams in five age divisions descended on the Memorial Sports Centre last weekend for the fourth-annual Fort Frances Girls’/Women’s Minor Hockey Association tournament.
No championships were claimed by the five local teams, but the tournament still was deemed a success as the biggest field yet competed.
“It’s been an amazing year. We’re having a lot of fun with it,” association president Tim Fowler said after a full day of finals Sunday.
“We already have a lot of interest for next year’s tournament.”
In fact, Fowler said they had to turn away eight teams this year due to ice availabilty.
The local Doug Kitowski Truck-ing ladies’/senior team reached the ‘A’ final by having the second-best record after the round-robin, but lost 3-1 to the Northland Thunder (Duluth) in Sunday’s finale.
Down 1-0 after the first period, forward Melissa Gunsolus burst through the blueline and beat the Thunder goalie to tie the game in the second.
But Sue Vanlodn and Ann Thompson both scored in the final minute of the period to take the lead for good.
“They were the stronger team,” head coach Stuart McIvor noted. “[But] we were much more organized [in the final] than we were in our first game against them.”
The Kitowski squad had opened play Friday with a 5-1 win over the Thunder Bay Iceman. But after losing 6-1 to the Thunder, they bounced back with a 5-0 shutout over the Thunder Bay Wolves.
Gonsolus led the team with six points (five goals/one assist). Amy Welsh (four goals) and Barb Galusha (two goals/two assists) were next with four points each.
Meanwhile, the local D&A Construction Bantams finished the tournament with a 2-2, wrapping up with a 3-2 loss to the Dryden Calypso Elimin8ors in the consolation final.
They just missed earning a spot in the final on a tiebreaker after beating Barker Trucking Coyotes (Dryden) 3-0 and the Elimin8ors 3-1, before losing 5-3 to the Kenora Flyers in the round-robin.
“It was close to miss it,” D&A co-coach Mike Busch said. “But all the teams are very even in this division.”
The local Skates and Blades/Floor Covering Inter-national Atoms also were victims of a tiebreaker. They opened with a pair of losses (4-3 to the Dryden Blazers and 3-0 to the Thunder Bay Red Wings), but rebounded to win 1-0 over Kenora White Esso.
Then they continued their strong play against Esso in the consolation final, holding on for a 2-1 win.
Taylor Meyers netted two goals and one assist to lead the team.
In PeeWee action, the local Pine-wood Blades finished fourth with an 0-4 record, losing 7-1 to the Thunder Bay Demons, 4-1 to the Thunder Bay On Site Ice Cats, and 3-1 to the Kenora Black Muskies.
Carly Holt paced the Blades with three goals.
And the Pollard Scarifiers Novice team earned a 2-1 win in the consolation final against the Kenora Red Muskies. They went 1-1-1 in round-robin play, defeating the Red Muskies 2-0, tying More from International Falls 1-1, and then losing 2-0 to the Dryden Flight Centre. Shawnee Morriseau and Lindsey Roehrig each scored two goals to lead the team in scoring.
A skills competition, organized by Mike Allison and Greg Madill, also was held Saturday afternoon. Teams were split up and competed in the puck relay, fastest skater, and breakaway relay.