BRASHER FALLS - The fifth annual Droppin the Gloves on Cancer hockey tournament was held recently at the Tri-Town Community Center.
Eleven teams participated in the annual event that saw the Orange Crush retain the crown for the womens division, and Breast Friends taking the championship in the coed division.
Tournament proceeds are divided between Massena Memorial Hospital and Canton Potsdam Hospital for education, awareness, and support initiatives for women dealing with gynecological or breast cancers. Over the five year history the tournament has raised more than $44,000.
The womens division was full of action with the Brasher Beavers (Brasher Falls), St. Lawrence Cougars (Massena), Akwesasne Wild (Hogansburg), Green Mountain Thunder (Burlington), Orange Crush (Ottawa), and Play Therapy (Ottawa/Kingston) competing for the Goose Landing Cup.
The all Canadian final had the defending champions, Orange Crush, take on Play Therapy in a well played game with few whistles.
Play Therapy struck first with a goal by Robin Berands at the 9:23 mark of the first period. Berands was assisted by Dani Loree and Jessica Ross. Orange Crush came back to tie the game at the 4:07 mark of the second period on a goal by Robyn Ellis and assist from Nat Girard.
Orange Crush went ahead in the third period at the 9:53 mark with Andree Lamarre finishing from Mel Lortie. Play Therapy goalie Heather Aitkens made 32 saves in the game, while the Orange Crush keeper, Kayla Crozier, made nine backstopping the repeat championship.
The co-ed division had five teams competing including Celtic Thunder (Brasher Falls), SLC of OLD (Brasher Falls), Akwesasne Wild (Hogansburg), Team Bickel (Alexandria Bay) and Breast Friends (Potsdam).
The final was a hockey clinic of offensive play and amazing goaltending with the defending champions, Akwesasne Wild, taking on Breast Friends.
Breast Friends struck first at the 9:47 mark of the first period with Eric Thomas converting a pass from Andrew McKay past Waheshon Lazore. The Friends took a two goal lead less than 2:30 minutes later with an unassisted goal by Greg Haggett.
The Wild countered with an unassisted goal of their own by Scott Butter Thompson at the 5:57 mark. Andrew McKay put another unassisted goal home at the 5:05 mark to regain the two-goal lead only to have the Wilds Alley Bero connect with Scott Thompson with 3:10 remaining to come back within one going into the second period.
The second period was a flurry of goals with seven being scored by both teams. Jack Charlebois connected with Andrew McKay at 9:55 to score the Friends fourth goal. Scott Thompson countered on a pass from Casey Swamp at 8:27. Denise Thompson finessed one past Rachel McKay unassisted at 7:43 to tie the game. Greg Haggett put the Friends ahead again just over a minute later. Ian Mitchell scored with 5:39 left in the second to tie the game again on a pass from Lakoda Lazore only to have Christin Powers convert passes from Greg Hagget and Andrew McKay at the 3:50 mark.
Alley Bero took a pass from defensive partner, Casey Swamp, at the 2:28 mark to again bring the game even ending the second period.
Breast Friends opened the third period with two quick goals by Jack Charlebois (Andrew McKay) and Frank LaSala (Jack Charlebois) to go ahead by two. The Wild continued to pressure coming within one at the 4:05 mark on a goal from Mike Benedict assisted by Alley Bero. lley Bero received a pass from Ian Mitchell and scored a goal that amazed everyone to tie the game with 1:35 left in the third. After a timeout, Jack Charlebois, Breast Friends, scored the winning goal with 26 seconds left on a pass from Christin Powers to capture the championship.