Hundreds of hockey players are back home after the week-long Lil’ Bands Tournament in Dryden, which brought First Nations from across the region together to compete for the championships.
38 First Nations youth hockey teams were a part of 2023’s events, with games taking place between January 31 and February at the Dryden Memorial Arena and Eagle Lake First Nation’s Arena.
This was the tournament’s long-awaited return after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
“It was nice to get back to a little bit of a normal on that,” explains Community Services Manager for the City of Dryden, Steve Belanger. “The last one was in 2020, and a couple of weeks later, we saw the provincial COVID-19 shutdown. Great to see everyone come back and have some fun.”
Belanger notes the city’s getting ready for the Big Bands adult First Nations hockey tournament next month and 48 teams are expected to make their way into the Dryden area in mid-March.
A-side results were not made available by Lil’ Bands. Elsewhere, the week’s winners include:
Slate Falls beat out Sandy Lake 5-2 in the B-Side Bantam finals.
But in Peewee action, Sandy Lake won against Slate Falls in the B-Side Finals.
Sandy Lake also took out Garden Hill 6-5 in a Shootout in the B-Side Senior Girls’ Finals.
But Garden Hill had success over Round Lake in a tight 10-9 game in the Peewee C-side Finals.
And for the Atoms, Pikangikum beat Sachigo Lake 9 – 4