MASSENA - With the start of another year of Massenas Winter Carnival comes another edition of the popular Massena Cup Hockey Tournament, and the results were familiar with another championship for the State Farm squad on Saturday night.
Twenty two teams squared off in a three division, double-elimination tournament Friday and Saturday at the Massena Arena.
The 3 on 3 tournament has been a constant for the Winter Carnival, making its fifth straight appearance on the festival schedule.
The tournament includes three divisions - the Elite Division, the Open Division, and the Rec Division. Teams consist of five players - one goalie and four skaters, including one substitute. Teams are also allowed to have one coach.
While the tournament is normally scheduled to take place outdoors, Mother Nature has not allowed that to happen the last few years. Co-organizers Tom Post and Ryan Prentice do not feel that the tournament being inside detracted from the success of this years event.
It was indoors. The weather never turned cold enough to hold the amount of games we wanted to (outside,) co-organizer and participant Mr. Post said. It was a great crowd, and we had a lot of support Friday evening, through the day Saturday, and Saturday evening as well.
The 3 on 3 is a different format. I can never remember having this format, especially using the goalies. Its more nostalgic when its outside but the weather hasnt cooperated with us the last few years. It really makes it a special event when its outside but all of the guys enjoy it either way. The participants enjoy it because they keep coming back each year. When you get 100 hockey players together, its a pretty good time, he said.
Over the last five years (the tournament) has taken on a life of its own. We have grown a bit each year. We went from 20 teams to 22 this year, and we still have a waiting list of teams that want to get in, Mr. Prentice added. It is as much for the community as it is for the players. It was great to see everybody out there this year, especially some families.
As it becomes more of a constant, more and more people continue to show up. It was definitely the biggest crowd Ive seen since we started, he added.
In the Elite Division, the State Farm team from Massena defeated the Plattsburgh Blackhawks in a shoot out to win it all. The Plattsburgh Ice Hogs were victorious out of the Open Division and JAC Tower took home the title in the Rec Division.
First place in the Elite Division garnered $750 cash, while second place earned $500. Both the Ice Hogs and JAC Tower teams earned $500 with their respective wins.
Mr. Prentice, who played for the Massena Savings and Loan group, noted that putting together the competition was far from a solo effort. We collaborated. It was myself, Tom, Dale Raymo, and Rich Boprey, he said. The most important thing is that we couldnt do this event without the help of so many people. We had some great volunteers throughout the day. Tim Belisle helped a lot with the score keeping, along with Todd Hartigan. Megan Bouchard has been a big part of this from the beginning. She handles all of the paperwork and registration and the day to day activity. It wouldnt be possible without her. Massena Savings was a big sponsor as well.
The State Farm roster included Mr. Post, Jeff Johnson, Chris Rurak, Chris Aldous, and Taylor Smoke.
Coachs Corner and Italian Affair provided food and refreshments throughout the tournament, while the Open Net Lounge hosted a welcoming party on Friday afternoon.
We would especially like to thank all the volunteers who helped with score keeping, refereeing, and all of the arena crew. Rich Bopreys staff did a tremendous job. Also, with Ryan Prentice we wouldnt be able to put this together. He does a phenomenal job every year, Mr. Post said. I also want to thank A Cappione Inc. for donating all of the prizes. Also, a special thanks to Aaron Jolley with Italian Affair and Al Chilton from Coachs Corner for the refreshments and hospitality.