Wolverines Prospects, Ethan McColm, and Cole Mentuck have returned home to Manitoba with gold medals following Team Manitoba’s 6-1 victory over Team Saskatchewan at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) in Whitehorse, Yukon.
After capturing the bronze medal earlier on Sunday in a 5-3 win over Team British Columbia, Team Manitoba would be thrown into the fire at the NAHC when Team Alberta was disqualified. Team Manitoba would step in their place and skate away with the National Championship.
“It felt great because we all got along so well during the week,” McColm shared of his experience. “It was a tough battle with BC and Saskatchewan to make it to the gold medal round. Winning a national championship hasn’t sunk in yet but the feeling was unreal.”
“It felt good to win it all,” Mentuck said on taking the gold medal.
With the best of the best from each province, both Mentuck and McColm mentioned the talent level and intensity as something they’ll remember.
“The level of competition was very good with a lot of Junior players and Western Hockey League prospects competing with their home provinces,” McColm said. “It was great to see us compete with the best.”
“It was like AAA Midget, just more intensity and a bit more nervous,” Mentuck said of the on-ice product.
The experiences that Team Manitoba shared off the ice are a great reason why the team had such great success on the ice according to McColm.
“Yukon was very different from where we live but being there with your team and spending time touring and fishing was certainly a highlight for me. We did a lot of things as a team and that built us together and was a good reason why we won,” McColm concluded.
In seven games during the NAHC, Cole Metuck notched a pair of assists while Ethan McColm was able to score twice, adding two assists of his own.
Next years National Aboriginal Hockey Championships will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan.