Six extramural hockey teams from surrounding college and university campuses helped raise $1,100 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Haldimand-Norfolk (BBBSHN) through a day of hockey as part of the 1st Annual College/University Charity Hockey Tournament.

The tournament, which featured six teams in total, including Laurier Brantford and one from each of the Mohawk College campuses (Fennell, Brantford and Stratt) as well as two from McMaster, marked the opening of the all-new Twin Pads Complex in Paris two weeks ago.

The tournament was the first in an effort to expand on the annual charity hockey game that has taken place between Laurier Brantford and Mohawk Brantford for the past nine years.

Kristin Hogg, Coordinator of Fitness, Wellness and Nutrition with Laurier Athletics and an organizer of the event, said that the athletics department wanted to boost the game and the recognition of Laurier Brantford.

“As a department, we wanted to try and do something new and on a larger scale, in the hopes to get more institutions involved and recognizing Laurier Brantford,” Hogg said via e-mail.

“Originally we tried to set up a male and female hockey tournament, but we where not able to get a strong commitment or interest from the female teams [at] other institutions. So we decided to try our first tournament as a men’s full day tournament and see how it would succeed.”

Though the tournament got off to a bit of a rag-tag start as substitute non-certified referees stepped up, a slap-shot shattered the glass behind one of the nets and one team’s jerseys had not arrived in time, things picked up speed as the games began.

Laurier Brantford got off to a good start in the tournament, taking down an out-manned team from Mohawk Stratt in a not-so-thrilling 7-2 victory. Their next game was against a tough McMaster team but the Marauders took too many trips to the box, allowing Laurier to jump ahead to a 4-2 lead that they did not look back from.

But things started to go downhill from there as the team faced their annual rivals from Mohawk’s Brantford campus in their next game. During this game, Laurier suffered a huge upset, falling 7-3.

The loss was not enough to keep the Golden Hawks out of the finals, as the home Laurier Brantford squad’s two wins placed them in the finals against an undefeated team from McMaster.

Despite strong play throughout the game, Laurier just could not keep up with the Marauders squad, as the Golden Hawks ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 decision.

Though Laurier was unable to recapture the trophy, the event was a success overall in its goal of raising money and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“It was a really fantastic event, and hopefully the students that were there and participating saw that we were there,” said Renee VanderHarst, the Resource Co-ordinator for BBBSHN.

“And hopefully in the future when they want to get involved in something in the community they will keep us in mind, as it’s not only about the money that’s brought in but also the awareness.”

“I felt the tournament went pretty well, but there are always things that you will need to change or improve for the following year,” Hogg said. “Next year it would be great to see more Laurier Brantford students in the stands cheering on our teams.”

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