by Brad Aubin
March break is always an exciting time for hundreds of young hockey players who travel to Mississauga to represent Nipissing First Nation and Dokis First Nation at the Little Native Hockey League (Little NHL) tournament. The huge event attracts over 200 teams from all across the province as well as thousands of spectators, with grandiose opening and closing ceremonies and some very competitive hockey.
While a different first nation hosts the tournament each year, it is always held in Mississauga due to the sheer size of the event. As always, the Nipissing Warriors were well represented at the Little NHL, and the local community was also introduced as the host nation for the 2020 tournament.
Nipissing sent 12 teams this year, including a Tykes, a Novice, an Atom Girls, Atom Boys, Pewee Girls, two Peewee boys, a Bantam Girls, two Bantam boys and a Midget squad. An incredible 6 of those teams brought home medals. The Peewee Boys Recreation team brought home the gold in the “C” division, while the Peewee Girls took gold in the D division. The Peewee Boys Competitive team took silver in the B division. The Bantam Boys Competitive team took silver in the C division, while the Bantam Girls won silver in the B division. The Atom Girls also earned a silver in the B division.
It was a banner year for Dokis, who sent two teams to Little NHL for the first time since 1974. The Novice Recreation mixed team won silver in the hard-fought A division, and the mixed Tykes team had a great showing as well. Dokis Novice Coach Chris Dokis was beaming with pride as he explained the achievement. “It’s more interest as well as more bodies to fill the teams. Both of our teams were all Dokis members except one child. The children were very proud to play for their First Nation. None of this would be possible without the parents who take the time to get their children out to practice week after week. Also for parents who take the time off to go for the week [to Mississauga]. Go Dokis go!”
In their first showing at the Little NHL in years, the Dokis Novice team took silver. Shown are Liam Restoule, Robert Restoule, Carter Dokis, Bryden Knight, Aleah Restoule, Jackson Mead, Lauren Longboat, Angus Restoule, Justin Restoule, Noodin Pitura. Goalie is Sofia Mallozzi. Coaches left to right Darcey Restoule, Chris Dokis, Derek Restoule and Shawn Restoule
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