Provincial championships at CFB Petawawa 0
The 2012 Ontario Regional Ball Hockey Championship opened Monday at the Silver Dart Arena. Here base commander Lt.-Col. Chris Moyle (centre) is joined for the ceremonial puck drop by CFB Petawawa Stags team captain Master Cpl. John Whitehead (left) and North Bay captain Sgt. Jeff Bateman.
CFB PETAWAWA - Six bases are competing for the title of best military ball hockey team in the province this week at the Silver Dart Arena.
The CFB Petawawa Stags are playing host to the three-day 2012 Ontario Regional Ball Hockey Championship with teams coming from CFB Borden, CFB Kingston, 8 Wing Trenton, 22 Wing North Bay and Area Support Unit Toronto.
In the opening ceremony which kicked off the round robin action Monday, base commander Lt.-Col. Chris Moyle said this is a good opportunity to show off the world class facility they have in the relatively young Silver Dart Arena. While he was obviously rooting for the home Petawawa squad, the commander said the tournament is a good example of soldiers demonstrating that warrior spirit.
"It's a great opportunity for our guys to showcase what they can do," said Lt.-Col. Moyle noting this tournament highlights the culture of fitness that exists in the Canadian Forces. "This is aggressive, this is fun and it breaks out that warrior team work which we need whether it's here on the ice surface or out in the field."
Petawawa last hosted the championship in 2010. At least 17 players are selected by their individual bases, however, the number can reach 21 with the coach included. Organizing the tournament, Personnel Support Programs sports co-ordinator Andrea McIntyre said she believes CFB Trenton, the defending champions, are the ones to beat.
"They have a good nucleus and have won it so many years in a row, but they came up with a light roster," said McIntyre.
In the opening game, the CFB Petawawa Stags shut out North Bay 7-0. Cpl. Yves Desjardins began the scoring quickly in the game, shooting the puck over the shoulder of North Bay netminder Cpl. Brad Garber. He was assisted by Bombardier Trevour Hilson and Cpl. Eric Pilon.
Then Hilson and Lieut. Robert Graydon extended the lead to three goals. Cpl. Josh Bedard and Bombardier Tim McEntee registered the assists. Before the first period was over, Hilson added another goal. The Stags then went up 5-0 when Master Cpl. Mike Landry circled the net and slipped the puck through the North Bay goalie's legs. Lieut. John Hart notched the assist.
The home squad ended the period strong with Desjardins breaking away from centre ice, intercepting the ball from Pilon and beating Garber point-blank. In the second period, Stags' captain Master Cpl. John Whitehead, assisted by Master Cpl. Darren Styles, added the seventh goal putting the game out of reach for North Bay. The visiting team did put a lot of pressure on Stags' goalie Cpl. Sean Jones, while Garber made several key saves to keep his squad in contention.
The semifinal and gold medal games are scheduled for Wednesday. The national Canadian Forces championships will be held in Borden in August.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist