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Rankin Inlet on top in 2024 Polar Bear Plate

Baker Lake, Kitikmeot players make a splash
Nangaat Netser adds to the medal case after Rankin Inlet defeated Baker Lake 9-2 in the finals. Photo courtesy of Tommy Bruce

For the first time in 10 years, a Kitikmeot team made it to the Polar Bear Plate, where team Nattilik earned fourth among the eight teams competing in the hockey tournament held Feb. 23-26.

Naujaat defeated the Kitikmeot squad to earn bronze, while Rankin Inlet bested Baker Lake – who had many fans tuning in to the online streams of the finals – 9-2 to win gold.

As usual, the annual winter tournament was marked by travel challenges and cold weather, but Rankin Inlet’s Agnico Eagle Arena was packed.

Nolan Tattuinee poses with his gold medal for Rankin Inlet. Photo courtesy of Tommy Bruce
Koby Connelly, giving a thumbs up, earned gold with Rankin Inlet. Photo courtesy of Tommy Bruce
Team Nattilik from the Kitikmeot, who came fourth in the tournament. Back row, from left, Tony Ittunga, Chad Nartok, Blake Anaituq, Todd Anaituq, Mitchell Mannilaq, Clayton Eetoolook and Jake Qirngnuq. Front row, from left, Donny Mannilaq, Juelie Pauloosie, John Kayasark, Gerald Qagutaq, Jarome Apsaktaun, Jonathan Eetoolook Darius Aleekee, and Rhett Anaituq. coaches Jesse Apsaktaun, Johnny Sr. Tulurialik and Richard Kakkianiun. Photo courtesy of Johnny Sr. Tulurialik
Deryk Voisey was part of the winning Rankin Inlet squad. Photo courtesy of Tommy Bruce
Tuugaaq Netser holds up his gold medal. Photo courtesy of Tommy Bruce
Rankin Inlet, winners of the 2024 Polar Bear Plate. Back row, from left, George Tattuinee (water boy), Stephan (Piqut) Nukapiak (coach), Nolan Tattuinee, Qasalluaq Kaludjak, Nangaat Netser, Maximus Amaaq, Koby Connelly, Justin Towtongie, Malla Tatty and AJ Curley (coach). Middle row, from left, Carson Nukapiak (water boy), Quinten Issaluk, Tugaaq Netser, Brayden Uluqsi, Kylan Saviakjuk, Deryk Voisey, Ben Tulugak and Darren (Nanook) Ikakhik Jr. In front are Orren Makpah and Blake Kusugak. Photo courtesy of Alfred Voisey