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Trackers claim division crown in Fort Mac, prep for Provincials next week

#16 Curtis Hammond looking to score on the Storm's netminder on Feb.11th. Photo by Brady Ratzlaff.
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FORT MCMURRAY, AB. – The Northeast B.C./Yukon Trackers captured the Bouchier Division title in Fort McMurray over the weekend.

The team started off the playoff tournament with a 4-3 loss to the Grande Prairie Athletic Club Storm on Thursday. Curtis Hammond led the way with two helpers. The boys rebounded on Friday with a 6-2 win over the Fort McMurray Barons. Connor Kindrat and Devan Minard led the way with three points each. Goaltender Tyler MacArthur stopped 29 of 31 shots.

The boys in blue and white found themselves down 2-0 to Whitecourt in Game 3 on Saturday but managed to score four goals in the third period to improve their record to 2-1. Hammond and Aiden Craig-Steele lead the charge with two points apiece. The boys carried the momentum into the night game on Saturday vs the Peace River Royals as they scored early and often in a 10-4 win. Nathan Brownlee, Aiden Craig-Steele, Curtis Hammond, and Connor Kindrat combined for 13 points.

The team ended the round robin with a 3-1 record and secured a spot in the finals against the 3-1 Athletic Club. The team never trailed in the contest and scored two early goals in the second and third period to capture the division crown after a 3-0 win. Hammond scored a goal and an assist while MacArthur ate up all 22 rubber biscuits fired in his direction for the shutout.

“The team struggled early in the tournament with having a consistent effort,” said head coach Gerard Dicaire. “The turning point was in the Whitecourt game being down 2-0 heading into the third period with backs against the wall. They battled hard and played the game the right way which resulted in four goals in the third. These young men have been relentless all year long and refused to be denied a goal we set at the beginning of the year. Our coaching staff is very proud of this team, they really are a bunch of beauties.”

The team now prepares to host BC Tier 1 Midget Provincials from March 18th to 23rd. Meanwhile, the schedule for the 2018 Midget Tier 1 Provincials has been released. Prince George, Vancouver Thunderbirds, Burnaby, Saanich, East Kootenay and Central Zone will head to the Energetic City to battle it out to see who is the best Tier 1 Midget hockey team in B.C.

The Trackers open the tournament on March 19th against Prince George at the North Peace Arena at 7:15 p.m.

The full schedule can be viewed here: www.bchockey.net/Championships/ScheduleandScoresDetail

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