Provincial Bantam C hockey tournament a big hit in Labrador West

Published on May 1, 2017

The Labrador City Lakers were the gold medal winners for provincial bantam C at the provincial hockey tournament held in Labrador City over the Easter break.

©Photo by Mike Power

It's been a couple of years since the last provincial hockey tournament was held in Labrador City, so players and fans alike were delighted to be at the Labrador City arena during the Easter break.

The President of the Labrador West Minor Hockey Association told the Aurora "Often when Provincial tournaments are held in Labrador West, not a lot of teams travel her to compete."

For this tournament however, five teams travelled to participate.

They included the St. Johns Caps, the Bay Arena Rovers, the Glovertown Tornadoes, the Mount Pearl Blades, and the Deer Lake Red Wings. The Labrador West Lakers got to play at home.

Play throughout the three days saw some good hockey. The teams were well matched, and the arena saw a good turnout by locals keen to see provincial level hockey in their hometown.

Arnold Kelly, chair of minor hockey with Hockey NL, told the Aurora it's getting easier to get teams to travel with various financial incentives in place. He said traveling to Labrador West allowed many of the provinces young players a chance to see a part of their province they've never visited before.

"The tournament was top notch,” said Dominic Pottle, head coach of the Bay Arena Rovers. “The organization of the event was perfect. Everything from transportation of equipment to social events made for a very welcoming event."

After three days of great hockey, it came down to the hometown Labrador West Lakers against the Bay Arena Rovers in the championship game.

Finally, the arena erupted into thunderous applause as the Lakers took the gold with a 7-3 win over the Rovers.

For the local players it was special to play in front of friends and family. For family and friends it was a chance to see their hometown team play at a provincial level.

Several of the visiting team members told the Aurora it was a real experience visiting Labrador West, and one they hope repeat again sometime in their minor hockey careers.