Canadians defend Grand Forks title

Lucas Punkari

For the second-straight year, the Fort Frances Canadians Midget ‘AA’ hockey team came away victorious at a tournament in Grand Forks, N.D. over the weekend, beating Duluth 5-3 in the final.
“We were up against some top-notch competition down there, especially since we came into the weekend as the defending champs,” Canadians’ head coach Dave Egan remarked.
“Everybody on the roster contributed to a really good team effort, and in the end the boys came through when it counted,” he added.
Brandon Sinclair netted a hat trick to spark his team to victory, which also marked the second-straight year the Canadians had beaten Duluth in the final.
“I think every coach would love to have a kid like him [Sinclair] on their team,” Egan said of the 17-year old forward, who is being courted by such prestigious programs as Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
“He’s a talented, all-around athlete but from what I’ve seen of him, he really shines out on the ice and he’s a great team player, as well.” Egan lauded.
The Canadians opened the tournament with a 10-0 thrashing of the Langdon Knights.
They followed that with a 5-1 triumph over Grand Rapids before demolishing the Grand Forks Generals 15-1.
“The guys just played three solid periods in every game,” Egan recalled.
“There were guys like Brandon McGinnis, who were instrumental on our face-offs, and there were guys like Ryder Woolsey who were working hard every shift,” he noted.
“Plus, it’s nice to have someone like Brett Bodnarchuk who is great at picking the team up when they start to slip,” Egan added.
Next up for the Canadians is a trip to Duluth this weekend, where they will be facing a familiar foe in their opening game Friday night.
“We’ll be taking on Duluth once again so I’m sure that will be an interesting game,” Egan said.
“We also have some top-notch teams from Minneapolis to go up against on Saturday, so hopefully we can do well and battle it out for some hardware come Sunday,” he remarked.