Despite a stellar run through the competition leading up to the ‘A’ final Sunday afternoon, a championship on home ice was not in the cards for the local PeeWee ‘AA’ Knights of Columbus.
The Knights were blanked 4-0 by the Kenora Thistles in the title game after going 5-0 through pool play and the playoffs.
“It would have been nice to win it at home. It was a pretty big disappointment for the kids,” Knights head coach Tony Kadikoff said.
Kenora jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on two Knights’ turnovers. The back-breaker came when Chris Sinclair scored after a scramble in front of goalie Wade Friesen to give the Thistles a 3-0 lead with seven minutes to go.
“I think they set the tone early with a couple of big hits on us,” said Kadikoff.
The loss was the Knights’ first to Kenora all season. They had tied them 2-2 in exhibition play and beat them twice—the last time being in the ‘A’ final of the Thistles’ invitational tournament.
The Knights opened play Friday with a pair of 4-0 wins over the Red Lake Rockets and the Norwest 12 AA Stars (Thunder Bay), and then a 5-3 win Saturday morning over the Westend Bruins (Thunder Bay) to wrap up first place in Pool ‘A’.
They took care of the Westfort Rangers (Thunder Bay) 5-0 in the flight qualifier Saturday night and the Norwest Stars 13 AA (Thunder Bay) 7-2 in the ‘A’ semi-finals in a game Kadikoff called the best performance by his team.
“They were playing against a team of big 13-year-olds,” he said. “It took a lot out of our team to overcome them. I’m pleased with the way they played.”
Knights forward Paul Dobransky led all team scorers with 10 points (four goals/six assists). Josh Sigurdson had nine (three goals/six assists), followed by Tyson Romyn (six goals/two assists) and Tyler Miller (five goals/three assists).
Friesen and Aaron Kadikoff split the duties in goal.
Next up for the Knights is the annual “Tournament of Champi-ons” in Brandon, Man. early next month.