Bears upend local squad for title

Jamie Mountain

It probably wasn’t the ending they had envisioned.
But after topping Pool ‘B’ with two wins and a tie, you can forgive the Fort Frances Wu Warriors for feeling a little confident Sunday heading into the gold-medal final of the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association’s annual Bantam ‘A’ tournament against the Baudette Bears.
However, the Bears used a five-goal outburst in the second period en route to a 7-1 romp and the tourney title at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Tucker Ferrier opened the scoring for Baudette just 1:18 into the opening period, tucking a slick backhander past Warriors’ goalie Riley Calder.
The Wu Warriors got that one back when Nathan Smith buried a feed from Kayle Falloon just under a minute later to make it 1-1.
But the Bears regained the lead when Connor Ivall tallied with 32.7 seconds to go in the period.
Baudette then poured it on in the second period, getting tallies from Owen Haataja, Zakai Dahl, Kajun Krause, Ferrier, and Gabe Krause.
The loss ended what otherwise was a solid weekend for the Wu Warriors.
They opened the tournament Friday with a 4-0 shutout win over the Emo Express, who claimed the ‘D’ final with a 2-0 win over Kenora Esso, on goals by Falloon, Grayson Councillor, Davis Wielinga, and Smith.
Calder earned the shutout between the pipes.
The Wu Warriors followed that up with a 3-3 tie against Halley’s Comets (Kenora) on Saturday morning.
Smith, Justice Derouin, and Anthony Bruyere all tallied in that one.
Then Saturday afternoon saw the Wu Warriors earning a 2-0 shutout over the Red Lake Gladiators to claim top spot in Pool ‘B’ and set up the final against Baudette.
Calder once again was strong in goal to record the shutout.
The Fort Frances Green’s Predators claimed the ‘B’ final earlier Sunday with a 4-3 win over Halley’s Comets.
Lachlan Rheault opened the scoring for the Comets just 33 seconds into the game for his first of three goals.
But Brayden Morriseau got the Predators on the board with his first tally to knot the score going into the second.
After Morriseau put his team up 2-1 at 9:30 of the second, Zander Copenace extended the Predators’ lead to 3-1 with 6:34 left in the period.
Rheault made it a one-goal contest when he scored his second of the game with 3:39 to go but Tristan Yerxa doubled the lead to 4-2 just 10 seconds later.
Rheault then capped his hat trick with 1:16 left before intermission to make it 4-3 after 40 minutes.
But that was as close as Halley’s Comets would get as Cohen Robinson stood tall in goal down the stretch.
Green’s Predators opened the tourney Friday with a 5-2 win over the Kenora Flyers.
Yerxa recorded a hat trick while Kael Archie and John Hoven added singles.
The Predators then thumped Kenora Esso 6-1 on Saturday morning, with Yerxa again netting a hat trick.
Morriseau, Eric Grennier, and Ashton Barnes got the other goals.
The Predators then fell to Baudette on Saturday afternoon to finish second in Pool ‘A.’
Up next, the local PeeWee ‘AA’ Canadians will host their three-day home tournament beginning Friday, with the finals set for Sunday.