Islanders outlast Hawks in C-side thriller
Bryan Phelan - Wawatay News
Halfway through the game it looked like the Kasabonika Islanders would cruise to an easy victory over the Weagamow Hawks.
Turns out it wasn’t so easy.
Centreman Billy Tait opened the scoring for Kasabonika and by the end of the first period the Islanders were up 3-0 in the C-side final of the Northern First Nations Hockey Tournament.
When Kasabonika’s Elijah Begg scored his second goal of the game to make it 4-0, it seemed the game would be a rout.
The Islanders pressed for more, but Weagamow goalie Harry Kenequanash made two point-blank saves to keep his team in the game.
A few minutes later, Shane Sakchekapo opened the scoring for Weagamow, the Islanders took a penalty and suddenly it was the Hawks who applied steady offensive pressure. Sakchekapo then turned from goal-scorer to precision passer, assisting on three more Weagamow goals to tie the score 4-4.
Hawks winger Trevor Chikane attributed the mid-game momentum change in part to encouragement shouted from the bench by teammate Joe Quequish. Chikane added that the presence of someone in the stands also inspired his team – Elder Rhoda Tait, who had fundraised for Weagamow’s jerseys through bake sales.
“They were playing hard, especially in the third period,” agreed Islanders centre Charles Stoney. “It was a good hockey game.”
The score evened again when the teams traded goals less than two minutes apart.
But the Isles finished the way they started, scoring three unanswered goals. Final score: 8-5, Kasabonika.
Jordan Cheechoo set up the last two goals for a game total of five assists. Billy Tait also had five points for the C-side champs.
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