Benton Ashworth scored twice to pace the Fort Frances DC Giants to a 6-4 win over the Fort Frances Armstrong Crushers on Sunday morning in the final of the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association’s annual Novice tournament at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Kolton Joyce opened the scoring for the Crushers just 15 seconds into the game as he deked through the Giants’ defence before firing a shot off the right post and in.
Nash Dolyny drew the Giants even later in the frame when he took the puck from the sideboards towards the Crushers’ net before tucking it five-hole.
Mason Hebert then put the Giants up 2-1 when he fired one home a few seconds before the buzzer sounded.
Joyce notched his second of the game early in the second period to draw the Crushers level, but Hayden Perreault then won a puck battle before banging one home to put the Giants ahead 3-2 later in the frame.
Jaxon Grimard then fired home a centering pass in front of the Crushers’ net with 3:05 to go to stake the Giants to a two-goal cushion.
Reed Ste. Croix netted one top shelf for the Crushers about a minute later, but Ashworth notched his first of the game with a backhander on the next shift to put the Giants ahead 5-3 after two periods.
Ste. Croix made it a one-goal game when he connected with 2:16 left to go in the third.
But Ashworth swiped the puck off a Crushers’ defender before going in all alone and netting one to cap the scoring with 16 seconds to go.
The Giants had opened tourney play Friday afternoon with a 5-0 win over Emo Green before also routing Emo White 10-0 that night.
Asher Faragher scored five times to pace the Giants’ offence in the win over Emo White.
The Giants then rolled to a 14-0 romp over the Kenora Strone on Saturday morning.
Robert Handberg and Dolyny both notched hat tricks in that one while Faragher, Mitchel Tucker, Ashworth, and Grimard each tallied twice.
The Giants then eked out a 5-4 victory over Kenora Honda to head into Sunday morning’s final with a 4-0 record.
Ashworth recorded a hat trick while Hebert and Faragher netted singles.
As for the Crushers, they opened tourney play Friday afternoon with a 5-1 win over Kenora Honda.
Joyce scored twice while Logan Neurinski, Henry Redford, and Gage Ballan added singles.
The squad then edged International Falls Gold 2-1 that night, with Ste. Croix scoring both goals.
The Crushers then dumped Emo White 8-1 on Saturday morning. Joyce and Ste. Croix each notched hat tricks in that one while Redford and Ballan also tallied.
The Crushers then routed Emo Green 10-0 that afternoon to head into Sunday’s final with a 4-0 record.
Joyce netted seven markers in that one while Ste. Croix, Ben Latter, and Ballan supplied singles.
Fort Frances Taggs, meanwhile, claimed the bronze medal Sunday morning with a thrilling 3-2 shootout win over Fort Frances Fine Foods Fury.
Maverick Dal opened the scoring for Taggs with 22 seconds to go in the first period when he broke in all alone on the Fury net before deking and tucking one home.
Mark Fitzgerald then doubled the lead early in the second when he buried a feed from Chase Councillor.
But the Fury wouldn’t go quietly and made a valiant comeback. First Andrew Booth soared in on a breakaway before roofing a backhander with 3:18 to go to trim it to 2-1.
Ray Morrison then knotted it with 2:39 to go in the third when he made good with a shot on another breakaway chance to force overtime.
After overtime solved nothing, a shootout was needed.
Tied at two goals a piece through six shooters, Kayden Smeeth made good for Taggs when he deked and scored.
Graeme Drobolis then had the last gasp to extend the game for the Fury but his shot missed the net as his squad settled for fourth place.
Taggs had opened play Friday morning with an 8-5 win over International Falls Purple before also dumping Kenora Honda 6-1 that afternoon.
The squad the rolled to a 7-0 win over Emo Green on Saturday morning before losing 4-1 to International Falls Gold that afternoon to head into Sunday’s bronze-medal game with a 3-1 record.
The Fury had opened tourney play Friday afternoon with a 9-1 rout of the Kenora Strone before also dumping Emo Green 6-0 that night.
Fort Frances then doubled International Falls Gold 6-3 on Saturday morning before losing 8-5 to International Falls Purple that evening to also head into Sunday’s bronze-medal game with a 3-1 record.
Up next, the FFMHA will host its Midget ‘AA’ tournament this Friday through Sunday (Feb. 22-24).