The annual Finch Youth Broomball Tournament took place at the Finch Community Centre from Fri., Jan. 12 until Sun., Jan. 14. The U12 championship was very close. With Russell up 1-0, Finch pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker, but Russell managed to score into the empty net to secure the 2-0 victory. See page 6 for the full story. Tinkess Photo
FINCH – Despite fears of inclement weather, the annual Finch Youth Broomball Tournament took place at the Finch Community Centre from Fri., Jan. 12 until Sun., Jan. 14, and from all reports, it went off without a hitch.
The tournament featured 312 players ranging in age from four to fifteen, playing in U9, U12, and U16 categories. There were 22 teams in total from Finch Youth Broomball, Russell Minor Broomball, and the Vankleek Hill Rockets, as well as a few players who made the journey from Carleton Place.
In addition to the full slate of games, there were also two special events available as part of the tournament weekend. The Eastern Thunder Juvenile Girls team hosted a breakfast and bake sale as a Nationals Fundraiser on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until noon, and apparently there weren’t many leftovers.
The team came in first place in this year’s Ontario Juvenile National Qualifiers tournament and will be representing Ontario at the 2024 Juvenile Broomball Nationals in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba on April 3 – 6, 2024. This breakfast is a fundraiser activity to help cover their travel cost for this event.
At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday there was also an Elite Men’s exhibition game between the Ottawa Nationals and Lacombe. This event was very well attended, and there weren’t many empty seats in the arena when the two teams took to the ice.
The championship games took place on Sunday morning, January 14, and both the U12 and U16 games were extremely close, with the U16 game needing overtime to decide a winner.
The U12 game saw the Russell Golden Knights versus the Finch Red Dragons. After a scoreless first half, Russell scored their first goal with about 3:30 remaining. Finch pulled their goalie for an extra attacker to try and tie things up, but Russell scored into the empty net to secure the 2-0 victory.
The U16 game had the Red Cougars versus Russell Blue. The Cougars scored the only goal of the first half, a short-handed effort. Russell tied it up early in the second half. The two teams exchanged goals to leave things tied at 2-2 after regulation time.
In overtime, Russell controlled the ball from the faceoff and scored less than 12 seconds into the final frame to capture the championship.
Denise Robinson is a member of the Finch Broomball Committee, and one of the tournament organizers. She said the tournament was going very well, and it is a testament to the legacy of the sport.
“A lot of the young ones that are out there now, their parents have played, but it’s also that younger generation that they’re just starting to come up now,” said Robinson. “And then those elite players are available to help coach because now they have kids, and they’re making the time in their schedule, and it helps to support the development.
“That’s the big thing, this tournament here is for fun. Nobody’s going anywhere from here, it’s not qualifying you for anything, but it’s developmental and that’s the key. The Finch league and the Russell league, we’re all about development and that’s what this tournament really helps, is to develop the skills.”
Terry Tinkess is a professional photographer, educator and journalist. He has been making a living with a camera and keyboard since 1999 and has been featured in such publications as The Ottawa Citizen, Cornwall Standard Freeholder, The Globe and Mail, The Miami Herald, Ottawa Construction News, The Ontario Construction Report, Ontario Home Builder Magazine, Reed Construction Data, Canadian Potato Business and most recently, The Record and Eastern Ontario AgriNews. Terry lives in Ingleside, Ontario with his wife Brenda, Mia the anxious Pittie and cats Wally and Chubbers.