Sports

Firefighter hockey tournament slushy but fun

PRESIDENT Gary Vollet of the Apex Fire Brigade Society had little else to do but toss the puck in the air Saturday as warm weather forced cancellation of the afternoon and evening firefighters hockey tournament games on the outdoor rink at Apex Mountain Resort.  - Mark Brett/Western News
PRESIDENT Gary Vollet of the Apex Fire Brigade Society had little else to do but toss the puck in the air Saturday as warm weather forced cancellation of the afternoon and evening firefighters hockey tournament games on the outdoor rink at Apex Mountain Resort.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

Sunny, warm weather only reduced the action, but not the fun players had during the 10th annual Penticton Firefighters Hockey Tournament.

Temperatures well above 0C forced all but two games to be cancelled on Saturday, but Sunday’s finals went ahead with just one game cancelled.

Organizer Marc Tougas said they hoped to get games going Saturday afternoon when the sun went down, but temperatures were still high. It wasn’t until 4 a.m. on Sunday that the ice began to freeze again. Four hours later, it was game on.

“We played some games until the teams didn’t want to play anymore,” joked Tougas.

Winning the A division were the Richmond firefighters, while the B division was won by Saanich. Kitimat took the C division and the 335’s won the women’s side.

Trevor Northrup of the Richmond Fire Rescue, who have played in the tournament for four years, said the weekend was filled with laughs with friends they just met or returnees from years past.

“All too often, beer league hockey forgets that it’s just beer league hockey,” said Northrup. “Not in the context of Apex Mountain and Marc Tougas. The score matters far less than the laughter. Even in the top division where major junior and past professionals ply their trade, there is nothing more than friendly chirps, some sweet plays, and lots of humour. Marc puts on a wonderful tournament for a great cause and he can rest assured that we will return for more of the same.”

“Everybody had a blast. It was a lot of fun,” said Tougas. “Nobody was disappointed with a few games being cancelled.”

Approximately $2,500 was raised for the British Columbia Professional Firefighters Burn Fund.

The outdoor rink will be busy again beginning Thursday with the Shot Gun Tournament sponsored by Molson Coors, Constellation Brands Canada Inc. (Jackson Triggs) and Apex Mountain Inn. The 18-team tournament will feature eight women’s teams. The men’s side features rec teams, including two from Penticton.  Action Thursday begins at 6 p.m. with the last game at 8 p.m. On Friday, the first game is at 9 a.m., with the final puck drop at 9:15 p.m. Saturday action is from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday’s finals are scheduled for 9, 10 and 11 a.m.

 

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