The Brandon Gold players were exhausted at the end of Hockey Manitoba’s Regional Peewee Future Stars Tournament on Sunday, and nobody could blame them.
The team had only 10 skaters and a goalie and had to play four games during the three-day event, which was held at Westman Place and Optimist Arena. That didn’t stop the kids from showcasing their talents and posting a respectable record. The team went 3-1 during the tournament, which pleased Brandon Gold head coach Jordan Barnes.
"It was tough with the amount of guys we have, but I have to give credit where credit is due: The guys gave 110 per cent every time we asked them to," he said. "They came through and worked hard and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of gents to work with."
Brandon Gold was made up of players from the peewee house league teams and the AA Wheat Kings. The tournament was an opportunity for them to play some of the best players in their age group from the province’s other regions.
Nate Hunter, a forward with the Brandon Peewee AA Wheat Kings, decided to take part in the event, and he came through in a big way in Brandon Gold’s final game of the event. Hunter netted natural hat trick as his team built a 4-0 lead and hung on for a 5-3 win over Central Plains.
Hunter felt he was just doing his job of putting the puck on net and enjoyed the chance to partake in the tournament.
"It was a good experience playing with different players from different teams and different age groups," he said.
Troy Hamilton added a goal and three assists in Brandon Gold’s win over Central Plains, while Mattias VanDeWoestyne supplied the other marker and Caden Wilson made 34 saves.
Brandon Black also had a solid run at the tournament, posting a 2-1 record. Parkland and Eastman both went a perfect 3-0.
Barnes was happy with the way his team played during the event, especially near the end of the last game as Brandon Gold desperately tried to hang on to its lead in the final minutes.
"Four games in three games is tough for anybody, especially for these guys with 10 guys on the bench," he said. "It got a little bit tight in the end and we were fighting the puck a little bit, but we got the puck out when we needed to and got some lucky bounces and pucks went in, and what else can you ask for."