Cou­ple en­joys Liftlock Atom tour­ney for its hon­esty

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - MIKE DAVIES Ex­am­iner Sports Di­rec­tor [email protected]­ter­bor­ough­

A pu­rity nine and 10 year olds im­port to hockey brings Don and Bev Mac­Don­ald back to the Peter­bor­ough Liftlock Atom Hockey Tour­na­ment year af­ter year.

For nearly 20 years the northend cou­ple has staked out top row seats in sec­tion eight of the Me­mo­rial Cen­tre to watch the cham­pi­onship games each Sun­day.

The cou­ple, who will cel­e­brate their 47th wed­ding an­niver­sary in June, never had chil­dren and rarely know any­one on the ice. They just en­joy the hockey.

“I watch a lot of hockey and you see a lot of hon­esty here,” said Don Mac­Don­ald. “The kids are just putting out for the love of the game.”

He coached a St. Peter’s church league team in the tour­na­ment in the 1980s. Not long af­ter he fin­ished coach­ing they be­gan at­tend­ing games. With no ad­mis­sion fee they won­der why more com­mu­nity mem­bers don’t at­tend.

“It’s lots of fun,” said Bev. “I like to see the girls be­ing able to par­tic­i­pate, too.”

The 61st edi­tion of the PLAHT fea­tured 114 teams play­ing 242 games at 12 area are­nas over four days. There were 10 di­vi­sions rang­ing from house league to


The MacDon­alds en­joy the va­ri­ety.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing to see the dif­fer­ent lev­els of kids who are the same age and even sizes,” Don said. “Some of these kids are al­most dou­ble the size of oth­ers. It’s amaz­ing.”

The cou­ple bet on each game and who­ever loses the most games takes the other out for din­ner, said Bev.

For the first time in many years there wasn’t a team from Peter­bor­ough city or county to win a di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship.

The Oton­abee Wolves came the clos­est los­ing 2-1 to the Kanata Space Rangers in the Mike Fisher Di­vi­sion house league fi­nal. Josh Crowe gave Oton­abee a first pe­riod lead. Daniel Rubashkin and Joel Switzer replied for Kanata.

The Douro Dukes reached the Dave Roche Di­vi­sion house league fi­nal but were dis­man­tled 10-0 by Al­monte-Pack­en­ham Thun­der. Alex Bernier and Thomas Gagne led the Thun­der with two goals each.

The clos­est thing to a lo­cal win­ner was the Orono Leafs who beat the Kawartha Coy­otes, both C level teams, 4-1 in the Cory Still­man Di­vi­sion fi­nal.

“It’s re­ally cool be­cause we’re the first Orono team to ever win this,” said Leafs’ cap­tain Mav­er­ick Birch. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing for us.”

Orono posted a 4-1 tour­na­ment record and also squeezed in a league play­off win Fri­day night, said coach Paul Birch.

“The kids are re­ally on a high now,” said Paul Birch. “They’re re­ally en­joy­ing their time here. This week­end meant a lot to them. This tour­na­ment is very highly re­garded for the com­pe­ti­tion they bring in so for our kids this is huge.”

Coy­otes’ coach Jeff McLean said reach­ing the fi­nal was the high­light of his team’s sea­son.

“To get to the fi­nal of this tour­na­ment is an ac­com­plish­ment and I know ev­ery­one in the stands, from grand­par­ents down, are re­ally proud of the kids.”

They were 4-1 on the week­end and only al­lowed three goals against prior to the fi­nal.

“It was a great tour­na­ment for the kids,” said MacLean. “The Petes play­ers come in and say a few words of en­cour­age­ment to them. The whole event, the ex­ec­u­tive and the board, do a fan­tas­tic job. When you get to atom this is the tour­na­ment you want to be in.”

Gabe Phillipp, Owen Heeney, Tyler Broad­ha­gen and Birch scored for Orono. Tor­rin Bul­lock replied for the Coy­otes.

Other di­vi­sion cham­pi­ons in­cluded Perth La­nark Blue Wings (Doug Gib­son), Mooret­town Jr. Flags (Greg The­berge), Whitby Wild­cats (Mark Freer), North Durham War­riors (Bob Er­rey), South Muskoka Bears (Herb Raglan), Whitby Wild­cats (Steve Larmer) and Clar­ing­ton Toros (Bob Gainey).


Petes' goalie Ki­ran Bishop blocks a shot on West Car­leton Cru­saders' Ja­cobReinke dur­ing the 61st an­nual Liftlock Atom tour­ney.

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