Canadians fall in tourney final

The Fort Frances Canadians skated to the championship final of the Shattuck St. Mary’s ‘AA/AAA’ Midget tournament over the weekend.
Shattuck—made more famous of late due to the emergence of alumni like Sidney Crosby—is situated just outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
After three preliminary games, the Canadians earned a berth in the final against the Edina Minnesota Jr. Gold squad.
Despite keeping close tabs on the Edina snipers, and holding the Minneapolis-area team to just three goals after two periods, the Canadians could not stem the tide in the third period as Edina struck for four more goals to seal a 7-2 victory.
The Canadians’ goal scorers were Brandon Legarie and Devon Ball.
The local squad opened play Friday night with a 6-3 loss to Okotoks, Alta. Jared Baker, Jake Witherspoon, and Matt Goldamer scored in the losing cause.
Already missing Steven Beck and captain Dayton Brown to injury, the Canadians also lost first-year defenceman Chris Cousineau to a concussion in this first game of the tournament.
Their second game Saturday morning proved to be a wake-up call for the Midget ‘AA’ Canadians as they pounded the Duluth Jr. Gold team 6-1.
Having played and beaten them before, the Canadians controlled play throughout the game.
Speedster Kyle Herr led the way with a pair of goals, with singles off the sticks of Ryan Shortreed, Jordan Sinclair, Witherspoon, and Legarie.
The third game versus Eagan, a suburb of Minneapolis, was a crucial affair, with a victory propelling the Canadians into the championship final.
In a back-and-forth tussle, the Canadians struck for an early 3-1 lead, but saw Eagan claw back into a 3-3 tie. The Canadians went up 4-3 and again Eagan scored to tie the game.
The Canadians finally iced the victory in the final frame for a nail-biting 5-4 win.
Legarie, with his third goal of the weekend, defenceman Logan Allen, and forwards David Chambers, Baker, and Shortreed did the scoring.
The Canadians won’t play again until Monday (Feb. 18), when they travel to Eagle Lake to take on the area ‘AAA’ Bantam team.
That game will help prepare the Canadians for the three-game challenge series to be played the following weekend (Feb. 22-24) here in Fort Frances against the Fort William Hurricane AA’s.
The winner will move on to the Ontario Winter Games being held in southern Ontario in March.
The Canadians-Hurricanes series will be one of many games in Fort Frances that weekend.
In what could be described as “Hockey Day in Fort Frances,” Friday, Feb. 22 will feature the Muskie boys (NorWOSSA semi-finals) and Fort Frances Jr. Sabres (versus Dryden) playing back-to-back games in the Ice for Kids Arena starting around 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, over in the ’52 Canadians Arena, it will be the Muskie girls (NorWOSSA semi-finals) and the first Canadians-Hurricanes tilt going back-to-back beginning around 5 p.m.
The annual Fort Frances IP2 tournament also will be held that weekend, so the Memorial Sports Centre certainly will be a beehive of activity.