Greenwood wins CAF Old Timers hockey title


Members of the Greenwood Bombers gather at center ice for a group photo in celebration of their CAF Old Timers National Championship victory at Wurtele Arena, March 17. Photo: Peter Mallett/Lookout.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer — The Greenwood Bombers were crowned Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Old Timers Hockey Champions.

The team required double overtime to defeat the Ottawa Olde Generals with the final score of 4-3 in the tournament championship game at Wurtele Arena on March 17.

“It feels great to be National Champions and it couldn’t have happened without great team work,” said Warrant Officer (WO) Wayne Belair of the Greenwood Bombers.

WO Wayne Belair converted his snap shot into a goal 52 seconds into the second overtime period to give Greenwood the win.

Ottawa appeared to have won the title with 3:09 remaining when Sergeant Brad Westerman scored with a wrist shot to give the Olde Generals a 3-2 lead. But then Greenwood’s Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Michael Pastuck converted a centering pass to tie the score with 52 seconds remaining.

WO Belair and Ottawa’s Captain Stephane Guillemette won game MVP honours, while the Tournament MVP Award went to Greenwood’s MWO Andrew Glessing. Ottawa outshot Greenwood 52-32.

Greenwood defeated Kingston 4-2 to win their semi-final game on March 16.

Goaltender shines in loss

Esquimalt Tritons were removed as contenders for the gold medal after losing in the semi-finals on March 16.

The ‘Gold and Navy’ hoped for a win after their undefeated run and tournament title at the Canada West Regional Championships in Cold Lake, Alta., last month. The team built on their games in the round-robin but lost to Kingston, Ottawa and Greenwood. Esquimalt then came roaring back to life in their semi-final game against Ottawa before eventually falling 2-1 in double overtime.

The Tritons resurged during the semi-final game thanks to the stellar play of Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) Randy Collens, Tritons’ goaltender, said Chief Petty Officer Second Class (CPO2) Rob Tibbetts, Tritons Captain and Assistant Coach.

CPO2 Tibbetts raved about his goaltender’s stellar play against the Olde Generals in stopping 67shots.

“He was incredible, but I shouldn’t be surprised because that is how Randy plays every game,” CPO2 Tibbetts said. “He is an all-star and leader on and off the ice and one of the best players on this team.”

PO2 Collens earned MVP of the Game honours for Esquimalt while Lieutenant (Navy) Warren Graham was recognized for Ottawa. 

Moments after PO2 Collens turned back his 34th shot on goal late in the second period, CPO2 Marc Lavoie gave Esquimalt a 1-0 lead. CP02 Lavoie shot home a centering pass from Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan Ouellet to break the deadlock.

It seemed like an upset of undefeated Ottawa was in the making after PO2 Collens stopped high-flying forward WO Mike Dalton on a breakaway with 7:34 remaining in the third period.

But then Ottawa’s WO Dalton forced overtime after capitalizing on a goalmouth scramble to tie the game with just two minutes remaining. Ottawa advanced to the final after Lt(N) Graham poked the winning goal past PO2 Collens with 5:49 remaining in the second overtime period.

“Everything was left on the ice and everyone on this team gave everything they could,” said CPO2 Tibbetts. “This is a hard-working team and we are built on great goaltending and teamwork, and it showed!”

Greenwood Bombers

Greenwood team captain Mycael McGraw celebrates his team’s CAF Old Timers National Championship victory at Wurtele Arena, March 17, 2023. Photo: Peter Mallett/Lookout Newspaper.

Greenwood Bombers

Greenwood goaltender Joel Brooks celebrates his team’s CAF Old Timers National Championship victory at Wurtele Arena, March 17, 2023. Photo: Peter Mallett/Lookout Newspaper.

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