For the first time in the competition’s 10-year history, a city team walked away from the United Steelworkers Local 6166 annual hockey tournament with a first-place finish.
This year’s tournament featured five teams and ran April 1-5, with the final taking place Friday evening at the C.A. Nesbitt Arena between the City Slickers and the T-1 Timberdogs.
While the mining team was favoured to win, having taken home the gold in 2018, they got off to a really rough start, since the Slickers scored three quick goals in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
From there the Timberdogs tried to battle back, but were stopped at every turn by goaltender Simon Carter, leading to a scoreless second period.
Forward Alex Head finally managed to get the mining team on the board early into the third period, which narrowed the gap to 3-1. Head would go on to score several minutes later, but the goal was called off due to the Timberdogs having too many men on the ice.
With two minutes left to go in the third, Josh Barnowich made it a one goal game and the City Slickers went into full-on defensive mode.
This strategy ended up working, since the clock eventually ran out and the city team squeaked by with a 3-2 victory to win the tournament’s top prize.
Union president Warren Luky eventually made his way onto the ice to congratulate the Slickers for nabbing their first USW tournament title since the competition began back in 2010.
He also presented Carter with the tournament MVP, since the goaltender’s performance on Friday was one of the major reasons why the city team was able to keep Timberdogs’ scoring a bay.
Elsewhere in the tournament, the T-1 Oilers beat the T-3 Flyers by a score of 9-3 in the competition's bronze medal game.