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Clipper​s Excel in Return to Ice

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Clippers Tournaments Crop
The U13A and U11A Clippers, who took first and second places at their respective tournaments this fall. Travis Mason

Minor hockey has taken off again in Niverville, and so far the 2021 season has turned out to be one of the most exciting in many years.

“With missing a full season last year, everyone was excited about getting back on the ice and providing the youth of Ste. Agathe and Niverville a season to remember for a lifetime,” says Travis Mason of Clipper Ice Sports.

Another source of excitement has been settling into their new digs at the Community Resource and Recreation Centre.

“It created a different atmosphere during our conditioning and tryout skates, allowing us to get started earlier than normal,” Mason says.

Yet more excitement came when the players got to don their new jerseys, featuring the new Clippers logo.

“Feedback has been great on the logo and jersey change,” Mason adds. “Teams look intimidating when they hit the ice and take that first warmup lap.”

This fall, the organization was once again able to schedule and plan home tournaments, and so far the Clippers have played host to two events. Having two sheets of ice has allowed them host larger tournaments that bring more visiting teams into town.

The first even was held November 19–21, for the U11 teams, and the second took place December 3–5, for the U13 teams.

At the first tournament, the U11A Clippers make it to the final but came up short in a very close match against the Fort Garry Flyers.

“The Clippers played together as a team and battled hard all weekend,” Mason says. “Nash Smook was selected as the team’s MVP for the tournament.”

In the B Division, Lorette beat the St. Boniface Seals 3–1 to capture the gold. The Kenora Grey Knights defeated the Île-des-Chênes Elks to win the C Division.

At the second tournament, the U13A Clippers captured gold, giving up only five goals in five games.

“Their biggest challenge was their opening game, which ended in a 4–4 tie with the Carman Cougars,” explains Mason. “They ended up defeating Steinbach 6–1 in the finals to capture their gold medal.”

Mason cites the team’s strong defence all weekend, adding that goalie Levi Brandt was selected as tournament MVP. The offence was led by Hayden Hyduk, Maddex Mason, and Trae Worrell.

“The team has really come together as one and the results are showing, as they have been piling up the wins all season,” Mason says. “The team was focused and set a goal earlier in the week that they were coming in to win this tournament.”

The U13B Clippers lost in the semifinal to Springfield, although Mason points out that they managed to wear Springfield down, as Springfield then went on to lose the final 8–0 to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The C Division was won by the Kenora Copperfin Crusaders, who glided to an 8–1 victory.

New Tournament Name

To help mark a new era in local minor hockey, the organization made the decision this year to give the local tournaments a new name.

“We wanted to name our tournament the Niverville Heritage Classic to acknowledge and honour the long-standing history and legacy that the founding citizens have left for present-day Niverville residents,” says Kevin Boone, tournament coordinator for Clipper Ice Sports. “Our goal is to make the Niverville Heritage Classic a recognizable tournament that surrounding communities want to be a part of. Announcing the name change alongside the first time many would step into our new facility just felt right.”

Boone worked together with Sherisse Fast and Ester Raftis to carefully plan these tournaments, of which there will be two others later in the season.

The next event, for the U9s, will be held January 14–16.

“We would like to thank them for the wonderful job they did, along with the hockey parents that helped get silent auction prizes, tournament donations, and volunteer schedules together,” says Mason.

Mason also wishes to thank BSI Insurance, who is this year’s title sponsor. There is also a platinum sponsor for each age group, and the first events were supported by DMM Energy and Fusion Industries Inc.

“Both tournaments so far were a great success, as the buzz in the CRRC was like no other,” Mason finishes. “The ice surface was full of smiling faces and arena halls filled with screaming and laughter. The feedback from all the visitors were positive and the new CRRC was the centre of attention.”

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