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PeeWee 'AA' Canadians claim branch 'three-peat'

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The Fort Frances PeeWee 'AA' Canadians went 5-1 en route to claiming the HNO Branch championship title for a third-straight year.

Held March 8-10, the Canadians opened tourney play on the Friday morning with a narrow 2-1 shootout loss to the KC Sabres.

After a scoreless first period, Dakota Cooper opened the scoring 3:18 into the second on a feed from Teagan Wrolstad and Jack Davis.

Carson Florito then knotted it at 1-1 for the Sabres at 8:52.

The game remain deadlocked from there and after overtime solved nothing, a shootout was needed.

Jack Weiss netted the only goal of the shootout to lift the Sabres to victory.

The Canadians bounced back that night with a 10-1 rout of the Thunder Bay Elks 82s.

Wrolstad netted a hat trick to lead the way while Klyde LaPlante tallied twice.

Ashton Veldhuisen, Royce Allan, Cooper, Bo Gartzke, and Hunter McLean added singles.

The squad then rolled to a 8-1 romp over the NorWest Stars (Thunder Bay) on the Saturday afternoon.

Allan had a hat trick in that one while Wrolstad bulged the twine twice.

LaPlante, Veldhuisen, and McLean also scored.

Fort Frances followed that up by eking out a narrow 5-4 win over the Northern Selects that night.

Allan netted two goals while Wrolstad, Veldhuisen, and Deagan Watson also bulged the twine.

Then on the Sunday morning, Wrolstad and Gartzke both netted hat tricks as the Canadians topped the Westfort Rangers (Thunder Bay) in a high-scoring 8-6 victory to head into the championship game with a 4-1 record.

LaPlante and Veldhuisen also tallied while Allan added four assists.

The Canadians then squared off against the Westend Bruins (Thunder Bay) in the final that afternoon, where they pulled out a 5-4 win to earn gold.

Things didn't start off well for Fort Frances as Garon Marchant and Andre Sarrasin tallied within a few minutes of each other to stake the Bruins to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

But Allan buried a feed from Gartzke at 10:29 to trim it to 2-1 after one. LaPlante then buried one 3:16 into the second to knot it at 2-2.

After Allan gave the Canadians their first lead 8:38 into the third, the Bruins struck back with two markers to forge ahead 4-3.

LaPlante then notched a pair of goals later in the frame to cap his hat trick and help the Canadians storm back to claim the title.

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