Hay River Huskies and Yellowknife Flyers revived their hockey rivalry on the weekend – and defeats for the Flyers forced the city’s mayor to don the Huskies’ jersey.
Rebecca Alty, Yellowknife’s mayor, told Cabin Radio her Hay River counterpart, Kandis Jameson, had emailed her the week prior suggesting a friendly wager.
The losing team’s mayor had to wear their opponents’ jersey on Sunday. Hay River won both of its home games on Friday and Saturday, with final scores of 3-2 and 4-0.
Alty didn’t mind too much. “I think Hay River washed [the Huskies jersey] so it smelled quite nice,” she said.
Ryan Nichols, Yellowknife captain, explained the challenge was a leaner version of 2013’s Northern Hockey Challenge.
In 2013, First Air sponsored Yellowknife, Hay River, and Inuvik, as well as Nunavut communities Iqualut, Rankin Inlet, and Naujaat, along with Kuujjuaq, Quebec, to compete for the title of northern hockey champion.
While the tournament hasn’t been held since, Yellowknife and Hay River have tried to keep a version of it alive.
Hay River’s new arena is now open, making it the first time in a few years the communities have been able to get together there.
“Our Yellowknife team was made up mostly of coaches down for a novice and initiation hockey tournament,” Nichols said.
“Hay River was really fast; they have some good hockey players.”
Nichols said the arena was packed for the two games, thanks to the raised stakes and the children’s tournament going on the same weekend.
“Next time … you’ll be wearing our jersey,” wrote Alty on Facebook.
While Yellowknife had hoped to host Hay River this season for a rematch, the teams weren’t able to schedule the ice time.