The host team did not come away with the tournament victory but the real winners appear to be the host committee and the city of North Bay.
Only a couple weeks removed from an incredible 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, a group of young hockey parents and organizers put on another exceptional effort in hosting the 2018 Ontario Hockey Federations Atom AA championships at West Ferris arena over the weekend.
Marc Long coached the North Bay/West Ferris Atom AA Trappers, who hosted the weekend affair. He says visiting coaches, players and officials were very impressed by the event, so much so that one NOHA official told him it was one of best OHF tournaments he had been to in the last 40 years.
“Obviously that is a very nice compliment for all the hard work everybody has put into this from grandparents to siblings, aunts and uncles and all the volunteers this weekend,” said Long.
Like many, Long says out of towner’s were actually very impressed with the rustic appearance that the West Ferris arena brings with it.
“A lot of people were actually making comments how awesome it was, how old school it was and it was just a great feeling with so many people in that old barn,” said Long.
The Peterborough Petes claimed the championship defeating the London Knights 4-0 in the tournament finale on Sunday afternoon at the aging arena.
The host team finished with a 1-1-2 but fell 4-3 in the semi-finals to the London Knights. Nonetheless, Long was impressed by the event and his team’s play.
“They were treated like NHLers the whole weekend and we play with everything on the line, being the host, we actually fit in here and we competed in every game,” said Long.
It had been more than 20 years since the high profile provincial hockey event had been hosted here in North Bay. A successful event like this could lead to more OHF’s in North Bay in the future.