The Mac’s AAA Midget World Invitational Hockey tournament concluded in dramatic fashion on New Year’s day and saw two midget teams crowned in Calgary – and two Saskatoon squads just miss the mark.
On the men’s side, the Belarus U17 National team were victorious with a massive 6-1 win over the Saskatoon Contacts, while the Rocky Mountain Raiders bested the Saskatoon Stars 5-4 in overtime.
Belarus finished the tournament a perfect 7-0 after beating Red Deer 4-0 in the quarters and the defeating the Cariboo Cougars, who were undefeated leading up to the game, in 5-4 overtime.
In the finals, Belarus came out strong, leading 2-0 after one and they never looked back on the way to a five-goal victory. They outshot Belarus 18-3 in the first and kept the momentum.
While they didn’t boast any top scorers, the Belarusians had the highest scoring offence in the tournament. They are the first European team to win the Mac’s since Finland in 2013.
After losing in the championship last year, Rocky Mountain once again got into the final and redeemed themselves. They faced a tough test in the Saskatoon Stars and the game came down to the wire in overtime. Rachel Weiss’ wrister found the back of the net halfway through the extra frame and the Raiders stormed out to celebrate the championship.
Last spring, the Stars and Raiders battled for bronze at the Esso Cup, with Rocky Mountain coming out on top then as well.
In the semifinals, the Raiders beat the Calgary Fire 5-0, while Saskatoon beat Vancouver Island 2-0, setting up the finals. Neither team had lost coming into the finals – the Stars were 5-0, while the Raiders went 4-0-1, tying one game. Both teams also allowed an average of less than two goals per game.
Hunter Floris of the Cariboo Cougars led the men’s side in scoring with 13 points in six games, while Saskatoon Contacts’ Mackenna Parker and the Raiders’ Nicole Fry both tied for the female scoring lead with nine points.Back to Top
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