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Bantam tourney a showcase of talent

A Bantam Tier II hockey tournament was held two weekends ago in Yorkton, and amidst a bunch of close-scoring games was the C-side final between a pair of local rivals.

A Bantam Tier II hockey tournament was held two weekends ago in Yorkton, and amidst a bunch of close-scoring games was the C-side final between a pair of local rivals.

The DR Auto Extras and the Quizno's Subs bantams squared off, each having lost only one game all weekend.

The latter fell behind 3-0 early but made an interesting comeback before falling in the end, 6-4.

The game capped a successful weekend for the DR Auto Extras, who helped to co-host a skills competition, held Saturday at the Kinsmen Arena.

Corvyn Neufeld, who manages the DR Auto Extras team said that by all counts, the weekend was a pretty good one for bantam hockey, and it was reflected in several tight matches throughout.

"It was pretty close all the way through. It was a pretty good weekend and the skills competition was really good."

He added that the rink was full for the skills competition and was interesting because there were cash prizes on the line for the kids who played in it.

The tournament was also a good showcase of how some of the most talented hockey players in the city are as young as 15 years old.

Neufeld added that while winning games is usually the objective in competition, the tournaments showcase some good young players and hopes to teach them to play their best hockey.

"At this level, you want to win but here, you go into every one (game) hoping to win but I think every coach would say 'as long as you're giving it your all'."

The C-side final between the two Yorkton clubs featured some of those moves that most kids can only pull off on an Xbox.

But at the Kinsmen arena, some of them made it look easy.

There were several picked corners, good inside cuts, fancy dekes and tape-to-tape passing. The skills competition from Saturday featured much the same talent. "For the most part, they did," Neufeld said when asked if he thought his team played to their potential. He added that some of the outside competition had their moments in the spotlight, especially the Saskatoon teams.

"Saskatoon obviously has a strong program, Melfort too..." said Neufeld.

The other good part of the tournament was that it gave local teams a chance to see what some of the teams that they don't normally face in league play are like."We don't play any of these teams in league play," says Neufeld. "(Here) it's always good to do as good as you can."

Even in the one game that the DR Auto Extras lost, Neufeld still said they did mostly everything right.

On Friday's opener, they edged the Regina Rockies, 4-3. The Quizno's Subs teams also started off on a good note, blasting Radville by a 10-1 count.

Saturday wasn't quite the same as both teams took their losses that day; the DR Auto Extras were doubled up, 6-3 by the Saskatoon Renegades, while Melfort got past the Quizno's Subs, 6-4.

When the two Yorkton clubs got together in the final, DR Auto Extra jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the opening period. Quizno's cut the lead to 3-2 but could not draw back to even terms, falling 6-4 Justin Poirier scored three times in the win for the DR Auto Extras, including back to back goals in the second period and added an assist on the last goal of the third period. Mathew Jendrasheske, Jake Holinaty and Tyler Stratechuk each scored singles in the win. Jaden Porte and Branden Pelechaty scored one each the losing cause while Zack Andrusiak came up with a pair of huge back to back markers, his first coming at 16:53 and then tallied again at 11:06. Porte also added three assists while Ryan Merkl, Andrusiak and Pelechaty also contributed assists.

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