Two of Thompson's teams fell one win shy of capturing their respective divisions' hardware at the 50th Munn Cup atom hockey tournament Feb. 14-16.
The AA Thompson King Miners were defeated 7-4 by the North East Wolfpack in the Munn Cup final, while Thompson dropped a 7-4 decision to the Norway House North Stars in the A division Crockett Cup title game.
Seventeen teams overall competed in this year's tournament, 16 of them from Manitoba and all of those except Swan River hailing from the province's north.
“This year being the 50th, we had a few out-of-town teams that don’t normally come, which was very nice," said Thompson Minor Hockey Association tournament director Matthew Steeves, adding there were more than 250 players involved overall.
The Wolfpack won the tournament in their first time participating.
“They are out of Saskatchewan. Swan Valley comes sporadically … in the last few years they’ve come a lot. The North East team came the farthest.”
The teams had a special treat at the beginning of their final games.
“When the atom A and AA were in their final games, Music Makers put on a big light show and smoke show,” Steeves said. “They announced all the teams and the players just like a regular NHL all-star game.”
There was also something notable about refereeing during the tournament, with Donnie Mitchell and his son Kruz Mitchell serving as head referees and officiating the final.
“Also … the Northstars helped out with the opening ceremonies,” Steeves said. “They carried out signs for the various teams that were involved.”
Volunteerism is the backbone of the tournament, explained Steeves.
“Devin Richcoon he’s put on quite a few of these, he’s pretty seasoned in it,” he said. “He selects his committee very well. It was very well run, and there were no major incidents with the tournament at all. We had between 25 and 35 volunteers. Lots of people step up to help. We had 17 different referees.”