It was on short notice, but community members and businesses in Rankin Inlet came together and helped send 20 U9 youth off to their first out-of-town hockey tournament March 10 to 13.

And the effort was more than worth it, because both Rankin Inlet teams won gold at the 31st Jack Burden Memorial in Thompson, Man. The Rankin Rock won the Jack Burden Cup, while the Rock Penguins came away with the Thompson Minor Hockey Cup.

“The kids did amazing,” said Hannah Siksik, team manager. “They won every game and walked away with the gold and the Jack Burden Memorial Cup. They are absolutely ecstatic.”

Siksik had nearly lost her voice from cheering over the weekend when she talked to Kivalliq News Sunday, March 13.

“We’ve left a mark in Thompson, I think,” said Siksik, congratulating the great teamwork and positivity from the players. “People will remember the Rankin Rock team.”

The tournament was the first time the U9 youth had ever travelled for hockey. A March 5 penny sale at the community hall helped raise more than $5,000 to cover some of the expenses.

“We had some amazing donations from community members and businesses in town,” said Siksik about the sale, noting the Northern Store, Arctic Co-op, Home Hardware and Red Top.

Pandemic restrictions meant notice of the tournament going ahead came just a few weeks before its start, so Siksik and others had to act quickly to drum up the funds and get everything together.

Siksik thanked the Thompson Minor Hockey Association for their great hosting, and to supporters back home.

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