Bruins defend Hopper’s title

Last year’s final came down to a shootout, but the Hopper’s Bruins were in no mood for drama this time around.
The Bruins rallied from a 2-0 deficit to down Graders 5-2 and defend their title of ‘A’ side champions in the third-annual Hopper’s Memorial Tournament at the Ice for Kids Arena here Saturday afternoon.
After the Graders scored twice within a two-minute span late in the first period, Rudy Anderson put the Bruins on the board with a blast from the right-wing boards that eluded Graders’ goalie Blake Carlson with under a minute left in the opening session.
Borderland Thunder general manager Brent Tookenay then showed he still had some on-ice skills to go along with his hockey management abilities as he hammered a 25-footer past Carlson with seven minutes left in the second to square the contest at 2-2.
Five minutes later, Milt Strachan scored a highlight reel goal which proved to be the game-winner. He split the Graders’ defence pairing and then executed a picturesque deke before beating Carlson with a backhander.
Wayne Strachan and Larry Beck, who had scored the shootout winner for the Bruins in last year’s final against the M&C Generals, added insurance goals in the third.
Beck’s short-handed marker came during a four-on-three man advantage for Graders as he finished off a perfect three-way passing play with a 10-foot bullet to the far side of the net.
In the ‘B’ final Saturday, Fry and M&S were locked in a 1-1 battle after two periods.
But Fry took the lead for good with 3:20 left in regulation time when Steve Fry hauled in Dale Jerry’s pass at the M&S blueline and made a dazzling close-in move before lifting the puck in for the game-winner.
Six teams took part in the tourney, which was shortened to one day due to the lack of teams. Last year, 10 teams participated.
The tournament was created after well-known local hockey enthusiast Mark Hopkins drowned on Footprint Lake in the summer of 2001.