It might be sportsmanship above all else in the world of minor hockey, but no one is about to pretend it doesn’t feel good to win. That was just the case for Westmount Hockey in late November as the organization hosted the Cape Ann, Mass, association for an all-out battle at Westmount Arena.

“Cape Ann brought nine teams, and each team at each level from novice to midget played two games. We awarded a trophy at the end to the community with the most points overall and [we] ended up winning based on goals for because we were tied in terms of points,” explained Westmount Recreation’s Dave Lapointe.

The atom A Westmount Wings

“Overall, each community had seven wins and seven losses with four ties, giving 18 points each and we came out on top with 66 total goals for against Cape Ann’s 63.”

Tom Price, who plays forward and defence for the atom A Westmount Wings had a great weekend. “I enjoyed playing against a competitive team, which made us work hard and smart,” Price said, looking ahead to the rematch in Massachusetts in early 2010. “I’m looking forward to becoming a stronger team, to be able to beat them during our next tournament as well. Also, it’ll be fun getting another chance to play against a great team like the one from Cape Ann.”

Atom A coach Bruce Garfield saw the weekend as a great character-building experience for the players. “The kids on our team had to deal with adversity for the first time this season. Having been undefeated all year, we played a very tough Cape Ann team. Although we lost the first game, we showed determination and were able to score a late third period goal to get a tie in the second game. This was a great learning experience for the kids and all them had fun,” the coach said.

“The Cape Ann tournament is important as it helps bring the whole community together. It’s not just about one team winning, but rather it’s the combined efforts of all the teams that helped win,” he added.

Cape Ann representative Dan McMullen said his group had a great experience in Montreal this year. “It was such a great tournament, and we were so evenly matched all the way down to the last game, which ended in a tie,” McMullen said.  “Westmount scored a total of three goals more than us over an 18-game tournament – how awesome is that? The kids weren’t overly disappointed because it was so much fun, but they can’t wait for the rematch.”

Westmount Rec coordinator Andrew Maislin was ecstatic about the way the weekend turned out – and especially with the win. “We haven’t won in five years, so it felt great. The tournament started in 1987 and we had a great run at first, but over the past few years we have been beaten by Cape Ann many times,” Maislin explained.

“The tournament was put together for a way for individuals from Cape Ann to get out of town and experience other cultures. The exchange also allows our players to meet players from other cities, countries, and towns and explore the other side of the sport.  “Usually our players are of a competitive nature against other teams, however this tournament allows them to bond with the other team.”

For players like Judd Garfield, however, it’s just a simple matter of having fun. “I’m looking forward to winning the tournament and having a good time on our return to Cape Ann for a great rematch!”

You can always reach me at noahsidel@gmail.com.

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