The end of pandemic restrictions came late in the spring, but Kivalliq communities made full use of it, with teams coming from all over for the Inlanders Cup hockey tournament in Baker Lake April 7 to 9.

Players from Gjoa Haven and Whale Cove even braved the elements to attend the tournament by snowmachine.

Kathy Okpakok loved watching her sons Joseph and Jeremy compete from Gjoa Haven.

“I am so happy and thankful my two boys got to meet family and new friends,” she said.

Rankin Inlet took home the cup in the end, with some dominating performances and a 7-0 shutdown in the gold medal game against Baker Lake.

“This tournament was fun, was good to finally get out somewhere and play different people, not just playing against only Rankin teams,” said Piqut Nukapiak, part of the winning Rankin Inlet squad.

“My team turned out good. We were rolling lines and having fun.”

They hadn’t played as a team all year and used the first few games to get used to playing together.

Nukapiak was particularly glad to play with his older brother Mike Nukapiak.

“I have never played with my older brother before,” he said. “He was so happy to play with me and winning the Inlanders Cup.”

He said the people of Baker Lake were very welcoming, all saying hi and wishing them a good time.

Nukapiak also thanked Terrance McLean for lending the team a truck for the weekend so players could check out Baker Lake outside of the games.

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