Quick start­ing Huskies lose to host Rem­parts

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - SCOTT RADLEY sradley@thes­pec.com 905-526-2440 | @radley­atthes­pec

It looked so promis­ing for a while there.

Less than 30 sec­onds into their game against the home­town Que­bec Rem­parts at the pres­ti­gious Que­bec Pee­wee Tour­na­ment, the Hamil­ton Huskies got on the score­board and qui­eted the big crowd. Be­fore the game was five min­utes old they’d done it again.

Sadly, the hot start didn’t last. A rough third pe­riod led to a 7-4 loss and an end to the dream of win­ning the world’s great­est mi­nor hockey event.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we picked a tough time to have our worst game in a while,” head coach Chris Travale says.

The ex­pected crowd of close to 15,000 at the NHL-ready Cen­tre Videotron didn’t quite ma­te­ri­al­ize as the city was hit with a snow­storm. But roughly 7,000 folks were in the stands when Flo­rian Xhekaj opened the scor­ing. Four min­utes later Blake El­lis also found the net.

As late as the se­cond in­ter­mis­sion the Huskies were in good shape with a 2-1 lead. Then things fell apart.

A se­ries of penal­ties led to a flurry of Que­bec goals. Within three min­utes of the third pe­riod be­gin­ning, the Rem­parts had taken the lead. El­lis tied it be­fore the home side scored three more times in quick suc­ces­sion to take a lead it would never re­lin­quish.

Patrick Thomas scored Hamil­ton’s fi­nal goal late in the game.

The Que­bec Pee­wee Tour­na­ment at­tracts teams from all over the world and all cor­ners of North Amer­ica and has fea­tured many of the fu­ture greats of the game in­clud­ing Wayne Gret­zky.

Travale says there were plenty of red eyes in the dress­ing room af­ter it was all over. But he in­sists the ex­pe­ri­ence was worth­while for the 12-year-olds de­spite the way it ended.

“I know the ben­e­fits out­weigh the dis­ap­point­ment by a long shot,” he says. “In time, the kids will un­der­stand that.”

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