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Labrador Cup: 35 years of growth


The recent Labrador Cup was the 35th time the event has taken place in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and it was the biggest ever.

Three hundred athletes made up 30 teams, in men's, ladies and masters divisions.

One of the event organizers, Trevor Paine told the Aurora, “The event keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. Four of the top officials from the island are flown in to officiate the games, which were held at the E.J. Broomfield arena.

Paine told the Aurora they are hoping to replace the wooden floor with turf for next year’s edition.

"It's a big event, people were playing from a Tuesday till Sunday, the stands were full, people fly in from all over Canada to participate in, or watch the Labrador Cup,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of talent and skill on display at this tournament. Even more astounding is that most of them have no fields, but play in small gymnasiums."

After the days of play, it all came down to the final matches.

The winner in the men's division was RMS Green Machine of Labrador West.

Team Captain Josh O'Reilly told the Aurora, "Not only is this five years in a row for the RMS Green Machine, but the teams record in those five years is 32-0. They haven't lost a game at the last five tournaments.”

Tony Reccord of Labrador City, who helped coach the team, told the Aurora "These are strong dedicated players who work hard and love the game."

O'Reilly says they have had the exact same team for the last two years. He said the team is more of a family now."

Just as amazing is the story of goalie Aaron Pinksen.

"He was amazing, he only allowed one goal in six games,” said teammate Seamus Bartlett.

Team Captain Josh O'Reilly said is Pinksen usually only plays soccer for the Lab Cup, though he is known for his skills as a goalie in ice hockey.

O'Reilly said RMS Green Machine is a team where each and every player and team member is as important as the other.

He also points out to the tremendous support of the team sponsor RMS.

"Having a sponsor who is behind you, year after year makes it easier to concentrate on the game, and the training," he said.

RMS actually sponsored five teams at this year’s cup.

The runner up in the men's division was Chiassons Dogs .

In the ladies division, it was Northfield of Happy Valley-Goose Bay emerging as the victors.

People who attended the final game, which saw them play Physio North of Labrador West, said it was one of the most exciting games of the weekend. The play went into overtime which saw Northfield win 1-0.

"I helped coach the team,” Seamus Bartlett of RMS Green Machine said. “It was a heart breaker for the ladies, but they played their hearts out."  

He said they had no regrets of their performance.

In the Masters event Chiassons emerged as the winners.

Given the level of play seen at this years event , organizer Trevor Paine says the Labrador Cup will grow not only in the number of players, but also in the calibre of play, in years to come.

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