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Novice Clippers Host Home Tournament

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The Novice B Clippers took home silver medals at their home tournament. Ashley Chamberlain

On the last weekend of January, the Novice Clippers hosted their annual home tournament, with all three Novice teams working hard to get themselves in a winning position.

The Novice A squad lost a tough first game to Springfield 10–3, but then bounced back in their second match against Lorette by a score of 4–2.

For the third game, against the Rat River Saints, they faced a scenario where they had to win to qualify for the finals.

“The boys played hard all weekend and got themselves into a win-and-you’re-in situation on Saturday night against their rivals from Rat River,” says team manager Chris Smook. “The Saints scored on the last shift of the game to take an 8–7 lead and win the game.”

The loss created a three-way tie in the standings between the Clippers, Lorette, and Rat River for a spot in the finals.

“In the end, when all the numbers were added up, Lorette edged out the Clippers by one point in the tiebreaker and moved on,” says Smook. “The Novice A team would like to thank the tournament coordinators for hosting a great weekend for all the novice Clipper Ice Sports teams.”

The Novice B team began their tournament with a Friday match-up against the St. Adolphe Hawks.

“What a great start to the tournament it was!” says manager Ashley Chamberlain. “It was definitely a nail-biter, right up until the last minute when the Hawks scored to win the game.”

The Novice Bs went on to win both of their next two round robin games, on Saturday, against the Gimli Vikings and Mitchell Mustangs. This qualified them for the final on Sunday afternoon.

“In the final, they faced off against St. Adolphe with another game full of exciting plays on both sides,” Chamberlain says. “The Clippers started off up by two goals, but by the last three minutes of the game the score was tied. The St. Adolphe Hawks won gold with a fantastic goal near the very end of the game. The Clippers Novice B congratulates our friends from St. Adolphe on their gold medal and was proud to take home silver.”

Two Clippers team competed in Novice C, White and Blue, and they both found themselves playing together in the semi-finals. The White team came out on top, by a score of 8–1.

However, it was the Altona Maroons who emerged victorious in the C final, with the Kenora Hounds taking home silver.

“The CIS Executive would like to thank the businesses, parents, and attendees of our home tournament,” adds Chamberlain. “Without support from the community, this would not be possible.” 

Atom A Still Undefeated 

In other Clippers news, the Atom A team has continued their undefeated league play. At the moment, assistant coach Travis Mason says the team is moving through the toughest part of their schedule.

“The Clippers lead the league with only 13 goals against with three games remaining,” says Mason. “The success has come from a complete team effort. Goalie Zadien McDonald-Horvath has had help from the defensive core of Luca Wootherspoon, Roc Wootherspoon, Carter Fast, and Brett Buros. They will end the season with games against the second and third place teams before they get ready for the playoffs.”

On the strength of their season so far, the Atom A team has already booked their ticket to the Atom AA Provincials this March, to be held in Dauphin. The Clippers are just one of two teams representing the Eastman region. The other team comes from St. Adolphe.

“One of our team goals at the start of the season was to win Provincials, and the boys did what they needed to do to put them in position to achieve this goal,” Mason says. “It’s been a great year and every player continues to push each other to be better each day. I believe the success of the group has come due to how they have bonded as a group. The energy and confidence they carry when they walk into the arena has played a big part in where they’re at today. The wins and losses are always the measuring point to a season, but I believe this group has achieved so much more by the lifetime bonds they’re creating.”

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