Juneau’s Under 12 Peewee hockey team went to Whitehorse to take place in Hockey Day in the Yukon last weekend.
“We were invited by the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Mustangs to play a series of three exhibition games against a high level Competitive team in Whitehorse,” Peewee coach Matt Boline said via email.
The trip started like any other road trip in Southeast Alaska, on a ferry, only this one didn’t end like most.
Due to the high winds and waves an estimated 75% of the ferry passengers fell ill with sea-sickness.
According to Boline, hockey mom Robin Dale, along on the trip, said that if she was not there she would not have believed just how bad it was.
Boline said it was like a scene out of a movie. After the rough ride to Skagway the team made it into Whitehorse late for the first game due to the ferry coming in behind schedule.
The Juneau Capitals went down 3-0 early when Kasey Watts knocked in the first goal. The Caps were able to hold it at 3-1 for a bit before succumbing to a 7-1 loss in the opening game. The following day with rest and plenty of time to let their stomachs settle the home town Mustangs put on a display of goal scoring to finish 9-0 in the second game. For the final game on Sunday the Mustangs offered to mix the two teams to get to know each other better and have some fun with their new friends from Juneau. Greyson Liebelt, Cameron Smith, Nikki Box, Cody Johnson, and Finn Yerkes played for the Mustangs and the hosts offered up 5 of their players to the Capitals. The Juneau team along with the 5 Mustang players walked away with an 11-4 win on Sunday before heading home for another ferry ride and to face more rough water.
Said Boline, “The trip was a huge success. For years we have been trying to develop a strong competitive relationship with Whitehorse and it seems that Whitehorse Association President Carl Burgess is just as interested. Carl and the rest of the Whitehorse Mustangs deserve a huge thank you for all of the hospitality that they gave to the players and parents from Juneau. As for the trials and tribulations of traveling in the region I think that it is just this kind of thing that makes our players and association stronger. When you can go through that kind of torture, show up late for your game, and still be able to play and compete there is an opportunity there to revert to a more primal state and you have to rely on your individual instincts. Learning these kinds of lessons early on will help them further down the line in hockey, school, and life.”