Local Atoms to host tourney

At this weekend’s Atom ‘A’ hockey tournament here, players will have to push and pull their goalies around. Then they’ll have to slide and jump against the clock.
And if a winning team still isn’t decided after all that, a good old-fashioned shootout will be in order.
Not exactly your typical tournament.
Actually, it’s all part of the second-annual skills competition being held Saturday afternoon in conjunction with the regular tournament action. And if last year is any indication, it should be another popular event.
“They all enjoyed it. They had a blast,” skills co-organizer Chess Stevens said.
All 16 teams will compete in three different relay races—“the net race” (two players push a hockey net with their goalie on the top), the chuckwagon (two players dragging their goalie with sticks), and the “over-under” (players alternate between jumping over pylons and sliding under sticks).
Points will be awarded based on time, and the team with the most points wins a Pizza Hut pizza party.
In the tourney itself, six local teams will compete against others from Emo, Kenora, Thunder Bay, and Winnipeg in the four-pool affair that gets underway tomorrow afternoon.
Local house league teams competing are the Firemen Flames, the Gillons’ Sharks, Causeway Insurance, MEC Bulldogs, Green’s Predators, and the Tom Thumb-affiliated Rangers.
Atom house league convener Sandra Stevens said each of the local teams get to travel within the region for two tournaments a season so getting the chance to play teams from Winnipeg is something these 10- and 11 year-olds welcome.
“They’re looking forward to it. They’ve never played anyone from a bigger centre than Thunder Bay before,” she noted. “It’s the first time in years a Winnipeg has come to this tournament so the kids are pretty psyched.
“The local teams will do OK but I think everyone is looking to enjoy the fun aspect of the game,” she added.
Every team will qualify for the playoffs, with the ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D’ finals going Sunday.
Cost for an adult weekend pass is $10 while day passes are $5. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.