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Mad Trappers third at Balsillie Cup
Inuvik team hindered by 'lack of bodies' at oldtimers hockey tournament

James McCarthy
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, April 14, 2011

YELLOWKNIFE - They came, they saw, but in the end, the Inuvik Mad Trappers weren't able to break through the Yellowknife force-field at the 28th annual Canadian North Balsillie Cup oldtimers hockey tournament in the capital.

NNSL photo/graphic

Inuvik Mad Trappers goaltender Tom Williams makes a stop in close during A division action at the 28th annual Canadian North Balsillie Cup in Yellowknife April 9. - James McCarthy/NNSL photos

The Mad Trappers finished in third place in the A division, dropping their semifinal match-up against the Talbots Maple Leafs on April 9. The Maple Leafs ended up winning the championship by beating the Northbest Distributors Ole Pack in the final by a score of 4-3 in a shootout.

Former Inuvik resident Owen Rowe helped to organize this year's entry for the town and said the Trappers had chances, but couldn't cash in on their chances in the semifinal.

"We were up 4-3 after the first period, but they came back on us and we just couldn't get the breaks when we had them," he said. "One of our best chances was a 5-on-3 and we couldn't capitalize on that."

The Trappers played the Leafs in the round-robin as well, which ended in a 7-3 loss, although the Trappers held three one-goal leads at various points. Their first outing against the Ole Pack ended in a 9-3 result.

Rowe said the first game was a wash as the team was still trying to find its legs.

"We hadn't been on the ice in about three weeks before that," he said. "We can play with those guys, but when you don't have a full bench and you don't get to play for a while, that hurts."

Goaltender Tom Williams also noticed the team labouring a bit near the end of each game and he figured it all came down to the gas tank hitting empty near the end of each game.

"We seemed to be competitive for the first period each time, but we ended up falling short at the end," he said. "The lack of bodies was a big one because the arena in Inuvik closed in March, so it was tough to get the legs back on short notice."

Indeed, the Trappers had two lines and four defencemen for the semifinal and for much of the tournament.

Rowe said the ideal scenario would have been to have three lines and five defencemen, which would have made things that much easier.

"In oldtimers, you have to be able to catch your breath and be in good shape, especially against the top teams, but no excuses, though," he said.

Premier Floyd Roland suited up for the Mad Trappers on defence and got in on the scoring, potting a couple of goals over the course of the tournament.

Williams said it's always nice to have him on board.

"He's played with us when we went to tournaments in the past and he gave us some size on the blue line," he said.

The plan is to come back next year and give it the old try again and Williams said there should be a different story.

"I'm hoping we come back with more players and we'll be better," he said.

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