Taggs plays in toughest tourney

The local Taggs Bantam ‘AA’ team faced their toughest challenge to date last weekend in Brandon—and responded by fighting fire with fire.
Taggs battled among seven of their top peers in Western Canada at the annual Tournament of Champions to finish with a 2-2 record, missing a playoff berth by one point.
Under the tournament’s scoring system, two points are awarded for every period a team wins, one point for every tied period, and the normal two points for a win and one point for a tie.
Taggs finished with 23 points, just one behind the Edmonton Brickmen in Pool ‘B.’ The top two teams from pools ‘A’ and ‘B’ met in a four-team playoff.
The Regina Hawks went on to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-4 in the championship.
“It was a different format. It was somewhat of a fair format,” said Taggs co-coach Dave Egan. “Also, we don’t usually experience the three 20-minute period stop time format.
“It made for some high scoring games.”
Taggs was shocked in their opener Thursday night as the Brickmen scored three goals in three third-period goals to earn a 6-2 win.
But they jumped out to an early 5-0 lead over the Fort Garry Twins on Friday, then hung on for a 9-7 victory. Jamie Davis and Shaun Councillor each netted three points to pace the team
Then came the wake-up call against the defending champion Wheat Kings, who romped to a 12-1 win.
“They don’t have an ‘AAA’ program in Brandon,” Egan said in explaining his team’s worst loss of the season. “They only have three ‘AA’ teams and the players are ‘AAA’ calibre.
“That was a well-oiled team.”
But team bounced back from that rough loss—which also saw them lose Mike Niskala and Scott Bridgeman to injury—to blank the Brickmen 6-0.
“I was very proud of the boys, especially after the loss to Brandon,” said Egan. “Those were good games. They took their game to another notch after that.”
Councillor led the team with six points (three goals/three assists) during the tournament, while Bridgeman (two goals/three assists) and Davis (three goals/two assists) added five.
Tyler Barker, Jared Catholique-Bruyere, Tanner Kaemingh, and Justin Larson had four points each.
Taggs has one more tournament in Winnipeg on March 22-24. But Egan said they’re hoping to line up some exhibition games with International Falls, Atikokan, and Thunder Bay before then.
In other news, the local Sunset Country Ford Mustangs Atom ‘AA’ team will travel to Cloquet, Mn. for a tournament this weekend.