Little NHL

It’s getting better all the time for the Lac La Croix Midget boys’ hockey team.
The team dropped the ‘A’ semi-final 4-3 to the Oneida Vipers at last week’s 31st-annual Little NHL hockey tournament in Thunder Bay.
They eventually settled for the ‘B’ runner-up crown after losing to the Mississauga Eagles.
But co-coach Robert Atatise said the big picture is the improvement of the squad, which started playing at this tournament as Bantams three years ago.
“We did quite well. Last two, three years, we’ve been right there,” said Atatise, who helped get the team ready along with Larry Henry and Debbie Atatise.
“We won the ‘C’ final last year,” he noted.
The Midgets finished 2-2 in round-robin pool play, which featured seven other teams.
Meanwhile, the Lac La Croix PeeWees, coached by Terry Ottertail, failed to qualify for the playoffs in their tough 18-team division. They went 1-5 overall.
In that same division, local KC ‘AA’ player Andrew Easton led his Pic River PeeWees with 14 goals on the week en route to the ‘A’ title over Whitefish River Birch Island.
Some other players from Couchiching also participated in the tourney, including Atom player Ben Morriseau (playing for Longlac), Tom Thumb Ben Bruyere of the local Foodtown Fury (Shoal Lake), and Melissa Calder (Eagle Lake under-16 girls’ team).
A pair of Taggs ‘AA’ Bantam players—Andrew Perreault and Sean Councillor—played with the Eagle Lake Bantam boys’ team, which lost to Garden River in the ‘A’ semi-final.
(Results for Longlac, Shoal Lake, and Eagle Lake girls’ teams were unavailable).
The Little NHL is a 73-team, seven-division tournament that attracts young native talent from across the province. Atatise said teams had fun at one of the bigger tournaments they’ve competed in.
“It’s an annual event all the kids look forward to,” he noted.