Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw Ball Hockey Tournament

Gwa'Sala Nakwaxda'xw held their annual year-end ball hockey tournament Dec. 30 and 31 at the Wakas Community Hall

The Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw First Nations hosted their annual year-end ball hockey tournament Dec. 30 and

Dec. 31 at the Wakas Community Hall. The tournament, held in honour of Peter Charlie, Trish Charlie and

Gilbert Walkus who died in a fire in an apartment complex on Highland Drive on Jan. 1, 2010, has been a

fixture of the community every year since 2011. “It is really important for our community to be together that

day,” said Maggie Coon, the tournament organizer. “Our community does take it really hard that they are not

alongside of us anymore.”The ball hockey tournament featured six men’s teams and three women’s teams this

year. The games are played four on four, with two 15 minute periods and a one minute intermission in-

between. “The games are always fun and competitive,” said Coon.The bleachers quickly filled up on

Wednesday, Dec. 30, as the tournament kicked off around 12 p.m. After a brief warm up, two of the teams, the

WolfPack and the WolfPack Jr’s, which was a match up of brothers vs. little brothers, started to play. All in all,

Coon said that “the first day of the tournament went really well. There were 15 games played.” The second day

of the tournament started bright and early at 8:25 a.m. Dec. 31. When asked about previous tournament

winners, Coons mentioned that “The WolfPack usually win the tournament, but the games between them and

the Storm are very competitive.”And as it turned out, the two teams ended up facing off in the finals around 2

p.m. The 1st 15 minute period was filled with back and forth, fast paced hockey action. Both teams clearly

wanted to win and were playing aggressively. By the intermission, the score was 3-2 for the WolfPack. The

Storm refused to quit, however. Throughout the 2nd period they peppered the WolfPack’s goalie, scoring goal

after goal after goal. The WolfPack answered with a few goals of their own, but it wasn’t enough. The Storm

ended up winning 11-6, taking first place in the fifth annual Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw First Nations ball hockey

tournament. Coons was extremely happy how the tournament went, adding that it “met my expectations and

more,” and that ‘It’s a great way for our community to remember the ones we lost.”