National Aboriginal Hockey Tournament Kicks Off in Whitehorse

    Team North playing Team Saskatchewan last night

    Hundreds of people from across numerous teams showed up to the opening ceremonies at Takhini Arena yesterday night in Whitehorse.

    Day 1

    Hundreds of fans turned up last night to watch the opening ceremonies of the 2019 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships last night at Takhini Arena.

    After Team BC, North, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and other provinces were introduced, Kluane First Nation citizen Lenita Alatini sang the national anthem in Southern Tutchone to an appreciative crowd 

    Coach Steven Buffalo for Team Alberta highlighted his team’s readiness to compete in the games.

    "It takes a lot of parental support and it takes a lot of will for the kids to want to be here and compete. We all have long seasons, both male and female. I'm just glad they're here to join us and I hope we find success."

    Coach Chandon Hill from Team Ontario says it's great to be on the other side of the country playing in this year tournament.

    Despite the women athletes from Team North losing to Team Saskatchewan 8-0 in the opening game, crowds cheered and saluted the players late into the evening.

    Day 2

    Today in the men’s division, Team North managed to hang on to a 4-3 victory after an explosive start over Team Ontario.

    Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston says the team today showed lots of energy over their competitors.

    "It was excellent to see Team North capture the momentum early on. I think it's really important that you build it from the beginning and you just maintain it throughout the game. There were some big goals by Team North and I hope that we can maintain this."

    Team North Head Coach Les Skinner says discipline was another factor for the win today.

    "Team Ontario has taken a lot of  penalties and it's gotten them out of their flow. We're taking advantage of it.  It also takes discipline. If you notice, we're being really disciplined and working hard on our own systems in place."

    Team North is set to play Team Manitoba in the men’s division at 8:30 tonight.



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