Two Castlegar teams participated in an Atom hockey tournament this weekend here in Castlegar. Twelve teams of nine and ten year olds including the Castlegar Lightning and the Castlegar Junior Rebels took part in the tournament. Teams from Nakusp, Spokane, Nelson, Vernon, Fernie, Kelowna, Grand Forks, Trail and Cranbrook travelled here for games that took place at both the Castlegar Complex and Pioneer Arena.
The Castlegar Lightning tied their first game in a nail-biter against the Nelson Leafs. “We had a great game, we came out strong, I thought we dominated the play,” said Lightning coach Wayne Salekin. “[The Leafs] got a couple of sneaky goals in on us there that put us down. But our kids kept their heads in it and they just fought back and tied it up. We would have liked to have won but we ran out of time. The kids played great, I was happy and proud of their effort. Matthew Weins was awarded the honour of player of the game.”
The Castlegar Junior Saints did not fare as well in their first game as they struggled against a strong Nakusp team that dominated the game.
Both Castlegar teams had strong games Saturday morning. The Lightning defeated the Vernon Ice Kings 10-2 and the Junior Saints defeated the Boundary Predators 9-2.
The Lightning followed up by defeating Fernie 8-3 Saturday night. The Junior Saints followed suit defeating the Kelowna Tigers 7-5. “We had some great goal tending and a lot of good effort,” said coach Jeremiah Benbow.
In the playoffs the Lightning fought a hard battle against the Kelowna Tigers, but unfortunately lost out in the final 24 seconds of the game when the Tigers scored a goal breaking the tied score. The Lightning finished in 8th place.
The Junior Saints had a great final game and beat the Nelson Leafs 6-3, ending the tournament in 5th place.
The gold and silver match was played between the Fernie Ghostriders and the Grand Forks Bruins with the Ghostriders coming out on top winning 6-3.