Manager and Timberwolves creator Dallas Adey started organizing the two teams last year with the goal of selecting hockey players from Labrador that could compete with powerhouse teams from any province across Canada.
"This team was something I wanted to get off the ground for some time; I started this program to offer the opportunity for kids in Labrador and Fermont area to be able to compete at a higher level of hockey. This year has been a huge success and hope this is something to continue on with for years to come," said Dallas Adey.
As with any team comprised of players from different communities around Labrador the opportunity to get everyone together for practices and games is extremely difficult due to everyone living so far apart. A late Friday night scrimmage followed by an early Saturday morning practice at the Bill Chaplin arena in Wabush as well as practices held at the E.J Broomfield arena in Happy Valley-Goose Bay was how the Timberwolves players practiced and prepared for the tournament in Toronto. Coaches started training hockey players from Labrador City, Fermont, Wabush, Churchill Falls, Goose Bay and Sheshatshiu for the challenge of playing teams who compete in non-fair play hockey tournaments all year long.
It wasn't long before the practices were over and it was time for the Timberwolves teams to participate in the May Madness tournament. Some families drove while others arrived by plane but as each player’s family arrived Timberwolves players became more anxious and excited to start playing.
Not long after the puck dropped Timberwolves players shook off any nervousness about playing in Toronto and realized it's the same game no matter where it is played. Both the 2003 and 2006 Timberwolves played teams from different provinces across Canada and even a team representing New York, USA.
The 2003 Timberwolves team faced some very strong competition over the weekend but played hockey the Labrador way never giving up and playing hockey until the final buzzer. After four games, the 2003 Timberwolves found themselves in the gold championship game. After a spirited, hard fought game of hockey the 2003 Timberwolves fell short but brought home the silver medal.
"The May Madness Tournament was a great experience for players, parents and coaches. Can't wait until next year," said Terry Delaney, the 2003 team coach.
The 2006 Timberwolves team shed tears of joy and pain over the first four games finishing third overall in standings. However, due to a three-way tie for points the 2006 Timberwolves found themselves in the gold championship game. In an extremely well played, back and forth championship game the 2006 Timberwolves won 4-1 and brought the gold medal back to the Big Land and finished the weekend with a winning record of three wins and two losses.
"Both of our Timberwolves teams got better and better each game they played. For first year hockey clubs from Labrador to come out to Toronto and compete like these kids did is a huge accomplishment for both Timberwolves teams!" said Jamie Shea, 2006 team coach.
It was a successful first year for the Labrador Timberwolves and the club is hoping next year more players across the Big Land will be interested in trying out for the teams and help bring recognition to our extremely talented young Labrador hockey players.