Weekend tourney to honour fallen friend

Liniment league players will suit up at the Memorial Sports Centre this weekend for the first-annual Mark Hopkins Memorial hockey tournament.  Twelve teams will take to the “Ice for Kids” and “52 Canadians” arenas starting Friday at 7 p.m., with play continuing until the finals Sunday afternoon.
Squads from Emo (two), Kenora, and Atikokan will join eight local teams.
Originally slated for 16 teams, the tournament now will feature an ‘A’ and ‘B’ side, with a card cut to decide who gets a bye into the finals.
Sean Taggart, who organized the event with Don McCool and Dean Bruyere, said the tournament was the best way he and other friends knew how to honour their friend, “Hopper,” who drowned in a boating accident on Footprint Lake in June.
“He was a good friend of ours. We decided we were going to have a tournament in his name,” said Taggart, who with McCool were teammates of Hopkins on the White Pine Inn squad of the local liniment league.
“Most of the guys in the league knew him very well, as did most of the town.”
Taggart said proceeds from the tournament will go to the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association to help purchase equipment for those who can’t afford it.
This is the second event which plans to salute Hopkins. Lake Despair Lodge’s inaugural “Castin’ for Cash” bass derby last July named the first-place plaque after him.