Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for February 24, 2014

Klassen, Pettitt help Yukon Brewing turn tables on Jets

With memories of last year’s Rendezvous hockey tournament loss still fresh in their minds, Derek Klassen and Aaron Pettitt made sure it didn’t happen again.

By Marcel Vander Wier on February 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm


Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

GOES TO THE BACKHAND – Yukon Brewing’s Rob Warner scores on Air North Jets goalie Rob Young during the second half of the Men’s A Division final to close out the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Hockey Tournament (top). HEATED RIVALRY – Air North Jets centre Ryan Gleason, left, faces off with Yukon Brewing centre Derek Klassen.

With memories of last year’s Rendezvous hockey tournament loss still fresh in their minds, Derek Klassen and Aaron Pettitt made sure it didn’t happen again.

The two Yukon Brewing forwards led their club to the Men’s A Division victory yesterday afternoon at Takhini Arena, winning 7-3 over the defending champion Air North Jets.

Last year, the Jets beat Yukon Brewing 5-4 in overtime to win the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Hockey Tournament.

Yesterday, Yukon Brewing put the game out of reach with four unanswered goals in the first half.

Air North scored three times in the second to make it interesting – one by Adam Sills and a pair from Jeff Gartshore – but they were unable to muster much more.

“We knew we wanted to beat them this year, and we just came out hard,” said Pettitt, who scored a hat trick in the game. “It was definitely great to play against them again. It made it that much sweeter to beat them. They beat us last year. We took it this year.”

Pettitt said Team Canada’s early-morning gold-medal win in hockey proved to be a good omen.

“I got some inspiration from that,” he chuckled.

When the final buzzer sounded, Yukon Brewing was left sorting out goals. While the official scoresheet had Pettitt and Klassen both recording hat tricks alongside a single by Rob Warner, Klassen disputed his three goals post-game. The centre acknowledged scoring one, but said his linemate Jeff Pike had the other two.

“It’s always a fun tournament, and it’s fun to win it for sure,” Klassen said of the weekend, which saw games played Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “You get your money back. Everybody’s just out having a good time. It’s just fun to get out and play four or five hockey games in a weekend.”

By emerging victorious in the six-team division – which included a team from Juneau this year – Yukon Brewing earned $1,100 in cash.

Goaltender Steven Harlow filled in admirably between the pipes, after Yukon Brewing’s starting goalie Tyler Plaunt injured his hamstring in the first game of the tournament.

Gartshore said the Jets dug themselves a hole in the first period that they simply weren’t able to climb out of.

“We probably had about our worst 10 minutes of the season to open this game,” he said. “We could just never get it going again. This was definitely our worst game.

“We just didn’t get enough shots on early,” Gartshore said. “We passed it around too much. By the time we did start getting them to the net, it was a little too late in the game.”

Regardless of the outcome, Gartshore said the tournament remains a favourite for local players.

“It’s probably our favourite tournament,” he said. “Being in town ... it’s a great time of year. The tournaments in Watson or Dawson, they’re a lot of fun and everything, but you can’t have your friends and family out

Air North was missing a few faces from last year’s winning roster, including Evan Campbell and overtime hero Robbie Stuckey.

The Jets’ roster did include former Prince George Cariboo Cougars forward Kole Comin, who left the team and returned to Whitehorse after a virus rendered him blind in his left eye.

The forward said he hopes to be able to crack the Cougars roster again next season.

Vance snipes shootout winner for Selkirk


Chris Vance was the hero of the Men’s B Division final Sunday, scoring the lone goal in the shootout to give the Selkirk Bears a 3-2 victory over Dawson City.

Vance, the fourth shooter for the Bears, was the only one able to beat Dawson goalie Daniel Naef, ending a game that some onlookers called more exciting than Canada’s Olympic gold-medal win over Sweden.

Selkirk goaltender Richard Sims stopped all four Dawson shooters.

After Dawson City stormed out to an early 1-0 lead, Gary Matheson scored twice for the Bears in the second to put Selkirk up 2-1.

Dawson’s JJ Flynn scored with 2:09 remaining in the second half to knot things up.

The game brought back memories of 2012, when Selkirk beat Dawson in a shootout to win their first Rendezvous title.

The Bears were unable to defend their title last year, losing 7-4 to Haines Junction.

With their latest victory, Selkirk earned $500. The Men’s B Division featured nine teams and was sponsored by Urban Systems.

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