Emo Canucks win Atikokan tourney

Shane McDonald

The Emo Canucks improved on their awesome showing at the Fort Frances Atom tournament by winning the ‘A’-side championship in Atikokan.
They opened action with a 3-1 win over the Causeway Cougars (Fort Frances) on Saturday morning.
Gavin Sakchekapo opened the scoring at 10:11 of the second period before Skylar Friesen added to the lead at 3:22.
Fort Frances got one at 6:36 of the third, but Dakota Medicine sealed the victory with 3:16 to go.
Wyatt Vanderaa had an outstanding game between the pipes and made some great saves with the game on the line.
In their second game, the Canucks lost a 3-2 nail-biter to the Thunder Bay Kiwanis, with Carter Robinson and Ryan Redford netting the goals in that one.
Their third game on Saturday saw the Canucks defeat the host Atikokan Voyageurs by a 7-1 margin.
Jacob Barker and Medicine had two goals each, with Kaden Nelson, Sawyer Gauthier, and Brett Allan notching the others.
The win put us into a three-way tie for first place after round-robin play, with the Canucks being awarded top spot by having the best goals average.
The semi-final game against Atikokan on Sunday at 8 a.m. was a much different affair than the game before as the Voyageurs came out much more determined this time.
Still, the Canucks jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Allan (at 7:53), Medicine (5:30), and Nelson (3:22).
The second period saw the Canucks go up 5-0 with goals at the 7:12 mark by Robinson and again at 4:01 by Allan.
Atikokan then netted one with 2:08 left in the second to make it 5-1 at the intermission.
The third period saw a momentum change and Atikokan scored the next two goals to make it 5-3.
But Allan completed his hat trick at 1:58 to put the Canucks up 6-3.
Although Atikokan would get one more with 1:15 to play, the Canucks held on for the 6-4 win.
The final game was a rematch with Thunder Bay Kiwanis and the kids showed how pumped they were by chanting, “Let’s go, Emo, let’s go” over and over for about 10 minutes before the game even started.
This was another barn burner as the Canucks grabbed the lead on a goal by Sakchekapo at 3:20 of the second period.
Thunder Bay was not about to give up, though, and tied it up at 10:55 in the third.
Both teams’ goalies came up big throughout the game and the third period ended in a 1-1 deadlock.
Overtime was a five-minute, sudden-death format featuring 4-on-4 play. And right off the opening face-off, Nelson pushed the puck ahead and caught the Thunder Bay defence flat-footed.
Using his speed, Nelson blasted past the defence and made a move to freeze the Thunder Bay goalie before shooting it just inside the post only eight seconds into the overtime for the 2-1 win.
The coaching staff couldn’t be more proud as this win was an entire team effort and everybody played their hearts out.
Way to go, Canucks!