Esso Minor Hockey Week wraps up with 59 champions

Esso Minor Hockey Week wraps up with 59 champions
The Hawks won the Midget 4 Red division crown on Saturday with a 6-2 triumph over the Southwest 4 Blue squad at the Max Bell Ken Bracko Arena.

The win brought back great memories for Glenlake 4 assistant coach Nicholas Longley who won a few Esso tournament titles as a goaltender.

“It’s been enjoyable. It’s been fun. We’re going to celebrate this but we’ve got another (non-tournament) game tomorrow so it’s time to get back to work,” Longley said after the awards presentation Saturday.

The 40th annual instalment of Esso Minor Hockey Week wrapped up with 59 champions crowned at rinks all over the city on Saturday. More than 12,000 players on 655 teams participated in the weeklong tournament.

“I think it’s very significant…. It’s a huge part of our city. It gets pretty good recognition from around the world,” explained Longley.

Despite the size and importance of the tournament, the assistant coach said their squad never faltered under pressure.

“They’ve been handling it very well,” said Longley. “Our captain is a third-year player and he’s never won Esso before, and it’s his last year of minor hockey, so I’m very happy for him.

“I thought our leaders were our best players today and that made a big difference.”

After going back and forth with their Southwest 4 Blue opponents in the first period, the Hawks ran away with the contest in the second and third.

The first year assistant coach, who joined head coach Russ Longley and fellow assistants Glen Burgess and Manish Goel behind the bench, felt pretty confident about their squad’s chances.

“To be completely honest with you, I did,” said Longley, when asked if he expected the team to walk away from the tournament as champions. “I had full confidence in our team that we were going to win this tournament. I’m really happy with the results.

“The kids played well. We were skating well and dominating the pace pretty well and that’s everything we wanted to do. I’m really proud of the kids for playing like that.”
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